Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Baked | Soft Pretzels

I made a batch of these delicious soft pretzels last week and let me tell you, living alone when you make a recipe this tasty is seriously dangerous!  Luckily my sister and I live in the same building (cute, right?) so I made her come down and take a bunch for her and her fiancĂ©...the rest were devoured by me in less than 3 day!

1 1/2 cup warm water (temp between 110-115 degrees)
1 pkg Dry Yeast (check expiration)
2 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
1 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
4 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
10 cups Water
2/3 cup Baking Soda
1/2 stick Butter, melted
Cinnamon + Sugar or Sea Salt for garnish

Sprinkle yeast and brown sugar over warm water in a mixing bowl, combine and wait about 5 minutes to make sure yeast activates. You want to make sure the yeast starts to bubble and foam before proceeding. Add flour, salt, melted butter and knead with an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Start on low to combine ingredients and then move up to medium speed. Knead until dough pulls away and is smooth in consistency (about 3-5 minutes). Once smooth, remove dough from the bowl, clean out the bowl and oil it with vegetable oil. Place the dough back in the oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Once dough has risen, turn it out onto a slightly oiled work surface and using a pizza cutter divide into 10 equal pieces. One at a time roll into a skinny rope, 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. You can also make pretzel sticks and twists. Place onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in a large pot. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds, then return to the baking sheet. Once you've done this for each pretzel, place them in the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes or until dark golden brown in color. Remove them from oven, dip in melted butter and top with salt or dip into a cinnamon and sugar mixture. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

The recipe sounds complicated but I promise you these pretzels are worth the effort!  Enjoy!

 photography by kristin kerr luber for simply smitten

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