As you may recall, I became a member of the Pinterest community this year. I’ve dabbled in it off and on, but recently, I’ve become totally obsessed with looking at pins of puppies, food, and graphic design things. Seriously addicted. It’s a problem.
About a week ago, Homemade Soft Pretzels (by Pennies on a Platter) showed up in my Google Reader and I thought I was going to die of mouth watering. Now, they’re popping up all over Pinterest. They’re obviously the must make of the week! Therefore I’m bringing you:
THE RECIPE ACCORDING TO THE HEARTY HERBIVORE
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast*
3 cups all purpose flour*
Nonstick cooking spray
10 cups water
2/3 cups baking soda
Egg wash (1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water)*
In a standing mixer, combine butter, sugar, salt, and water. Sprinkle yeast on top.
With the dough attachment on the mixer, begin mixing on a low speed. Gradually add flour.
Dough will begin to come together. Once it does, turn speed to medium. Mix for 4-5 minutes, or until the dough begins to pull away from the outside of the bowl, forming a large ball in the center of the bowl.*
Remove dough from bowl.*
Clean and dry bowl, then spray with cooking spray. Return dough to bowl, turning over once to coat in oil.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise for 50 minutes.*
After dough has risen, preheat oven to 450 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Bring 10 cups of water to a boil in a large stockpot, then add baking soda.*
While water boils, separate the dough into small pieces, about the size of a golf ball. Place on a well floured surface, you’ll be doing your pretzel constructing here!
Shape each ball into a rope, about 6-8 inches long. Shape these ropes into pretzels by taking both ends of the dough and crossing them over one another.*
Drop two pretzels at a time into the boiling water and baking soda mixture. Boil each pretzel for 30 seconds, then transfer to parchment covered baking sheet.*
After you’ve boiled all the pretzels, brush the top of each one with the egg wash. Sprinkle with salt.*
Bake until golden brown (about 16 minutes). Cool on a wire rack.*
ACCORDING TO THE HEARTY HERBIVORE…
*For some reason, I use active dry yeast for all of my baked goods. I think it’s just what I happen to pick up at the store. The original recipe calls for instant yeast, but if using active dry, just read the instructions on how to activate the yeast.
*You may need a little more flour than this. If the dough is not pulling away from the bowl when you turn the mixer speed to medium, gradually add a little more flour until it starts to form a big ball of dough.
*I’ve never really thought about what makes a pretzel taste pretzel-y until I made these. The answer is: Egg Wash! It sounds really strange too, if you think about the taste of a pretzel, but egg wash makes them taste less like a bread and a little more…well pretzel-y.
*Like I said earlier, in order for the dough to pull away from the bowl, you may need to add a little more flour.
*When I removed the dough from the bowl, I transferred it to some plastic wrap. Maybe not my best decision, considering it stuck like glue. Maybe consider parchment paper, or just sprinkling some flour on the counter.
*The dough should double in size when you let it rise.
*Instead of forming actual balls, your dough may take the shape of a blob. That’s fine. As long as it’s thick enough to make a rope.
*Pennies on a Platter has a nice guide for how to make pretty pretzels. I was feeling rushed, so I took matters into my own hands. A few nice pretzels came out, but others just fell apart in the boiling process. Therefore, we’re calling these Pretzel knots!
*When you boil the pretzels, they’ll rise to the top. Make sure you don’t remove them until they’ve at least risen. You can tell when they’re done because they’ll have darkened a bit and definitely hardened. If you don’t let them boil long enough, they’ll flatten in the oven and turn into pretzel buns (which are okay, too!).
*If you have pretzel salt, by all means use it to top the pretzels! These were a spur of the moment thing and I didn’t have any pretzel salt. I topped each with a dash with freshly ground sea salt instead.
*These babies are best when they’re warm! I even put them in the toaster oven before I ate them the next day.
These pretzels reminded me of going to a high school basketball game and buying one of those jumbo pretzels! They were super soft and doughy on the inside, but crisp and crunchy on the outside.
They’re best served with mustard, but I wish I’d had some cheese sauce to go with them! Remember when I said that the un-boiled pretzels turn into buns? Yeah, I used them as sandwich buns for my lunch the next day. Scrumptious!
My friends were over both Friday and Saturday night. They were super impressed by these pretzels, so I think I’ll be making them again this weekend!
BEST PART OF THE RECIPE
My friends think I’m the queen of baking.
I took all these pictures with my Nikon D3000, but didn’t try too hard to make them that great. It’s nice to have some higher-quality pictures that I take the time to edit a bit, but they’re still not as beautiful as I’d like them to be. This whole blogging thing is hard work! I’m finding it’s easier to write and use my iPhone pictures, edited with RetroCam. But I really like for my photos to be clear and pretty. What do you think?