When I moved in with Carol she introduced me to soft pretzels. I’d heard of them before I moved here, but I’d never actually had one. She had gotten hooked on them when she lived in Ontario and her friend occasionally mailed us soft pretzels to enjoy. I found this recipe on a cooking/crafting blog that I read fairly often and bookmarked it right away, knowing that we’d have to try making these pretzels at some point! The only thing our pretzels were missing was the yummy mustard we got with the ones mailed from Ontario!
- 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
- Vegetable oil, for pan
- 10 cups water
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Pretzel salt
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Although I tend to stray from recipes I thought this could be a complete disaster if I did, so I followed this recipe almost exactly. The only change I made was that I used regular table salt, because we didn’t have kosher, and salted butter, because we didn’t have unsalted butter.
After we let the dough rise and started rolling them into pretzels the dough felt amazing. I know that seems like a weird thing to say but it was so light, and not at all sticky, and was so smooth feeling. I don’t use recipes that call for yeast very often, so I was pleasantly surprised with how well the dough turned out. They came out of the oven tasting amazing. We ate more than I’d like to share today because they were THAT good. Multiple times through the cooking process we both exclaimed, “I can’t wait!” because we were that excited about eating them. They were also really fun to make!
Is this a repeat recipe? Absolutely, I already have!