My friend from junior high school shared this soft pretzel recipe with me recently. I have been wanting to make pretzels but haven’t found the motivation or the right recipe.
Soft pretzels have a special place in my…stomach. I have been buying pretzels since elementary school, at the dirty water hot dog stands in NYC, and the frozen kinds in the supermarket. I love soft pretzels! Especially with some yellow mustard, but plain is pretty good too.
I have a canister of instant yeast in the freezer just waiting to be used and this recipe is perfect! I purchased some instant yeast a while back because I needed it in a recipe and I figured if I was going to bake bread on a regular basis, I would make good use of it. Needless to say, the full canister still sits in the freezer, but I do love my carbs so I will somehow find a way to use the yeast.
This is a super easy recipe, especially with an electric stand mixer. You only need to let the dough rise once and it only takes about 50-55 minutes for the dough to rise.
I think the tricky part of this recipe is the shaping and forming of the pretzel. The above looks like a nice pretzel but in hindsight I probably should have rolled the dough out thinner and twisted it twice instead of once.
You have to boil the pretzels like you do with bagels before baking. This boiling process makes it chewy but it also puffs up the dough, therefore I think the next time I make these, I will roll out the dough thinner. It was a bit hard to roll out the dough because our kitchen is TINY! I always dream of a bigger kitchen when I cook and bake because it will make my life easier.
The pretzels came out looking quite strange and the bigger ones look more like buns but they tasted amazing! It is indeed a pretzel!
(Adapted from Alton Brown)
Makes 8 pretzels
For the dough:
1 1/2 cups warm water (between 110-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil spray
Vegetable oil spray
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg beaten
1. In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and salt. With the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the yeast dissolves.
2. Add flour and butter and mix until dough starts to form.
3. Switch to the dough hook and on medium low speed, mix for about 5 minutes.
4. In a large greased bowl, place the dough into the bowl and turn it over to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 50-55 minutes or until doubled.
5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Boil water and baking soda. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray with vegetable oil spray.
6. In the meantime, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a long rope, about 24 inches long. Make a U-shape with the rope and holding the ends, twist twice, and bring the ends to the bottom of the U to make a pretzel shape.
7. Please each shaped pretzel onto the baking sheet.
8. After all pieces are shaped, place the pretzels into the boiling water, two at a time, for about 30 seconds. Use a skimmer to remove from the water and place back onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
9. Once all the pretzels have been boiled, brush each pretzel with the egg wash. Lightly sprinkle with salt.
10. Bake in the oven for about 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to cooking rack after taking the pretzels out of the oven before serving.