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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Soft Pretzels

I don't know why I haven't posted this recipe yet.  It was saved in my drafts for several weeks now.  We ate these back in April, so I don't know why the long wait, but I can assure you that these were awesome.

Not too much to add about the experience because I simply don't remember.  I do recall being frustrated with the rolling process, but this is not abnormal for my relationship with pretzel making.  I can never roll the dough thin enough to make a true pretzel shape.  Serve these with a cheese dip or a hot mustard sauce.  Yum!

Note:  the egg, technically, is not an essential ingredient unless you want your pretzels to turn brown.
Soft Pretzels
recipe from Alton Brown, Food Network 
Yield:  8 pretzels
  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110-115 degrees F) water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces AP flour, approx 4 1/2 cups
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • veggie oil, for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten w/ 1 tbsp water
  • pretzel salt
  1. Combine the water, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on the top.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until mixture begins to foam.  
  2. Add the flour and butter and, if using dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined.
  3. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approx. 4-5 minutes.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl, and then oil it well.  
  5. Return the dough to the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approx 50-55 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  7. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with veggie oil.  Set aside.
  8. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan.
  9. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces.  
  10. Roll each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope.  Make your pretzels:  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.
  11. Place the pretzels, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds into the boiling water.  Remove them from the water by using a large flat spatula.  
  12. 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.
  13. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approx. 12-14 minutes.
  14. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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