Soft Pretzels

Soft Pretzels

If you've made any of the bread recipes, then this recipe for pretzels shouldn't put you in a twist. Simply combine the ingredients in the bowl, knead, twist, boil, and bake.
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Chill: 1 hour
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Total: 2 hours 15 min
  • Yields 12 soft pretzels
Soft Pretzels
  • Dough
  • 1 pound 11 ounces all-purpose flour (about 5 ⅓ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast with a wooden spoon or dough whisk.
  • 2 cups warm water
  • Pour water into bowl in a slow, steady stream while stirring with a wooden spoon or dough whisk. Stir until water is fully combined and a rough dough starts to form.
  • Turn dough out onto a clean work surface and knead until dough is soft and well formed, about 8 to 10 minutes. Pretzel dough should be slightly moist and tacky, but shouldn't pull away in sticky clumps on the counter or your hands. Add additional water in teaspoon increments is dough is too dry or additional flour in teaspoon increments if too wet.
  • Shape kneaded dough into a ball.
  • Rising
  • cooking spray
  • Lightly grease a large bowl and place dough in bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Shaping
  • parchment paper
  • cooking spray
  • Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease paper with cooking spray.
  • Once dough has risen, remove from bowl and punch down on a clean work surface. Using a dough knife, cut dough into 16 equal pieces. Set dough to the side and drape with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.
  • Take a piece of dough and roll it out with your hands (like you're making a snake) until it is 18-inches long. Do your best to roll out the dough evenly so that there are not sections that are much thicker or thiner than the rest.
  • Using both hands, grab each end of the rolled out dough and lift them into the air, leaving the center of the dough on the counter. Twist the dough into a pretzel shape. This part takes a little practice, but the good news is that any shape will work so feel free to try out different twists until you find one that you like.
  • Once shaped, place the pretzel on the greased parchment paper and gentle cover with a kitchen towel. Roll and remaining dough pieces.
  • Let shaped pretzels rest for 15 minutes.
  • Boiling
  • 2 quarts water, or more depending on pot
  • While pretzels rest, fill a large, shallow pot with at least 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil.
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Once water has boiled, add baking soda and sugar. Note: The baking soda will foam up briefly so make sure that your pot has some head space.
  • Reduce heat to medium.
  • Drop three or four pretzels into the water a time. Poach on each side for one minute. Use a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon to flip pretzels over.
  • When done, use a slot spoon to transfer pretzels back to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pretzels in groups of three or four.
  • Baking
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together egg and water. Using a pastry brush, glaze tops of pretzels with egg wash until well coated.
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt, kosher salt, or pretzel salt
  • Generously sprinkle pretzels with salt. If you happen to already have a high quality sea salt or pretzel salt on hand, this is a wonderful time to use it.
  • Bake pretzels at 450°F until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. If using two oven racks, switch position of baking sheets half way through.
  • When done, remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  • Storing
  • Pretzels are best eaten same day, but will keep at room temperature uncovered for two days. Do not cover or store pretzels in an airtight container as they will become soft and soggy.
From MakeBetterFood.com. . (http://makebetterfood.com/recipes/soft-pretzels/). Adapted from Smitten Kitchen. Also adapted from Martha Stewart.
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