(Click image to enlarge)
You know that smell when you’re walking through the mall and you’re starving? You know exactly where it’s coming from. You start walking toward the smell, then see a huge line. Of course, you expected it and of course, you waited.
Well, that’s what it was like in my house this morning waiting for the soft pretzels to be ready. But, not only did my family have to watch me make the dough and wait for it to rise, but they also had to wait until they baked AND were photographed.
Just like waiting at the mall, these fresh-out-of-the-oven soft pretzels were definitely worth waiting for!
As a kid, I remember that feeling of going to the mall to visit Pretzels and Cheese. It was my favorite snack there. So, when I discovered pub cheese that tastes exactly the same, I had to figure out a way to make those pretzels.
It started out as a fun activity to do with the kids, but when we tasted them for the first time, we knew that we had something special. I have made the recipe many times and it is good every time. They can be made with salt or cinnamon and sugar, dipped in mustard or pub cheese. Tonight, I am serving them as pretzel bites for an appetizer. I know they will be a hit!
This is a recipe from Food Network and while the ingredients are exactly the same, I slightly modified the instructions.
1 ½ c warm water
1 T sugar
2 t kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, or 4 ½ cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
10 c water
2/3 c baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 T water
Combine 1 ½ c 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. Using the dough hook attachment, add the flour and butter, mixing 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. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm area for 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line three large sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
Bring 10 cups of water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot.
In the meantime, place the dough onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into eight equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, cross the sides over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto a parchment-lined sheet pan.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, one by one, for 30 seconds only. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula and lay them on a cooling rack. It’s important to let them drip for a couple of minutes to reduce the baking soda water on the bottom.
Place four on each sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture, and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.