Wednesday, February 2, 2011

soft pretzels

today's recipe takes me back to high school.{rachel, this one's for you ;)}
my second job was at the pretzel twister in the mall (my 1st job ever was at baskin robbins...i'm noticing a trend of fattening goodies). i used to eat 2 every time i worked...yes, i said 2...one plain, no butter or salt, just the deliciousness of the sweet dough with a strawberry cream cheese or a tomato sauce, and one with either the fattening butter and salt or cinnamon sugar. that would be my lunch or dinner, depending upon what time of the day i worked...normally it was dinner except on the weekends when i could work during the day. the best part was that they were free! free pretzels every time i worked! the sad part is that the recipe was and still is a secret. the mix came pre-packaged to us and all we added was the yeast and water...
i've tried googling it...it's no where to be found! so, i've made a few different recipes to try and replicate the wonderful goodness that is called "soft pretzel"...this is the closest i've come to it so far...i hope you enjoy...i know we do...


soft pretzels
(adapted from buttery soft pretzels on allrecipes.com)
makes 4 pretzels
( i use a standing mixer to do this, however there are other recipes that use a hand held mixer or a bread maker)


what you need:
1-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon white sugar
1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon warm water

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons white sugar
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons baking soda
1cup hot water

for topping:
butter
coarse sea salt
(or whatever you want to top these babies with)

what you do with all of it:  
1. mix yeast, sugar, and water (1st 3 ingredients) in a small bowl and set aside until mixture is creamy...about 10 minutes.
 
2. mix flour, sugars, and salt (next 4 ingredients) in a standing mixer. add, the oil and yeast mixture. mix it all together until a soft dough forms. (you may need to add a tablespoon or two of water if the mix is too dry, but you don't want your dough too wet).

3.  using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough until smooth. (if you do this by hand, about 7 or 8 minutes until smooth will do).

4. spray a large bowl with cooking spray and put the ball of dough in it. spray the dough as well on all sides. cover and put in a warm place to rise. it needs to double in size, which takes about an hour or more. (i usually dampen a kitchen towel and cover the bowl and then stick it in the oven (the oven is off) for about 2 hours or more...until i'm ready to make them)

4. right before you start the next step, preheat oven to 450 degrees. mix baking soda and water in a shallow pan. put parchment paper on a large cookie sheet. (if you don't want to use parchment paper, grease the cookie sheet).

5. once the dough has doubled, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. cut 4 equal strips with a pizza cutter. roll out dough to make it longer (this determines how big it be) and shape into a pretzel.

6. dip the tops of the pretzels into the baking soda water (this is what makes them brown...otherwise they would be the color of the dough...it doesn't change the taste, so if you skip this step, it's ok, they will just look weird) and place that side up onto cookie sheet. bake for about 8 minutes, or until browned.

7. butter pretzels while hot and sprinkle with salt (or top with whatever your heart desires)
these are best when served fresh from the oven, but you can store them in the fridge and reheat it in the oven.  the microwave makes them chewy. i'm not sure how long they will keep (i don't think they'll last that long anyways...they're de.lish!) they are also great with dipping sauces like mustard, cheese, or caramel.

bon appetit!

2 comments:

  1. oh the irony that i would visit your blog today!!!! i was here to look for a picture of jude's crib (whole nuther story, and the answer is no) and i see this! oh my...
    no lie, i was planning on making pretzels this weekend... so thanks for the recipe :) i wonder if we could buy a bag of mix from pt? hehe

    by the way, your pretzel looks nice - i see you haven't lost your touch!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yum!!! I love soft pretzels so much, so so much. I don't know why it's never occurred to me to make them for myself. I'm bookmarking this recipe for sure!

    Visiting from Somewhat Simple

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