One of the recipes that intimidates me in the past is soft pretzels. I’ve been meaning to try it but when I read through several recipes, they’re all similar–long, and with several steps. Quite challenging for me then, so I thought I’ll try it when I’m become more confident with my bread baking skill. I don’t want to waste ingredients.
Community lockdown gave me an opportunity to finally give it a try. I have time and I’m more experienced now and most importantly, I have a big craving for the salty, soft, freshly baked knotted bread (sooooo yummy dipped in melted butter).
I read several recipes online and I settled for Alton Brown’s from Food Network. I’m a big fan, he has great recipes I wasn’t surprised that this turned out well. My first time to make homemade pretzels and they turned out just like Auntie Anne’s and Wetzel’s… in taste. I know they don’t look as nice but that is expected and I don’t mind. Hey, I made pretzels at home! I’m so happy and proud of my work.
Tip – To make things go smoothly, check if you have all the ingredients on hand. Read the recipe more than twice to familiarize yourself with the steps and to get the flow of work in your head.
If I can do this..anyone (with passion, determination and craving) can do it too. Just think of the reward at the end –freshly baked soft, salty pretzels at home and you can have more than one:)
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine sugar, salt and water. Mix then sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit for 5 mins or until you see the yeast foaming.
- Add the melted butter and flour. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change speed to medium and knead dough until it pulls away from the side of the bowl--about 4-5 mins)
- Remove dough from bowl, and wipe the bowl clean with paper towel. Put some vegetable oil to grease the sides and bottom well. Shape the dough into a ball and return in the bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for about 55 minutes or until double in size.
- Preheat the oven to 450degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside.
- Put 10 cups of water and baking soda in a big saucepan or pot and bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat.
- When dough is double in size, turn it into a lightly oiled surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each dough into a 24-inch rope.Make a U-shape with the dough and holding the ends, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U to form the classic pretzel shape. Place onto the prepared sheet pan.
- Put pretzel one at a time in the boiling water with baking soda for 30 seconds each. Remove using a slotted flat spatula and return to the sheet pan.
- Brush top of each pretzel with egg yolk wash and sprinkle with salt
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until pretzels are dark golden brown in color. Transfer to a cooling rack for about 5 mins before serving.