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Soft Pretzels

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My husband is a sucker for soft pretels.  When we’re at the mall, he looks at Auntie Annie’s longingly, wishing for some of that warm, doughy goodness (and I almost always encourage him to just get one!).  He doesn’t make many requests, but he has been requesting some homemade pretzels, so I decided to make some for him one afternoon.  I’ve heard very good things about Alton Brown’s Soft Pretzels, so I went with that recipe.

It seems as if bread recipes often take a long time and can be very time consuming, but that was not the case with this recipe.  The pretzels were ready in only a matter of a couple hours.  The ingredient list was simple and came together quickly.  The dough took just under an hour to double in size, just like the recipe said.  This was a very easy dough to work with.  It was nice and soft and I had an easy time handling it.  My pretzel-shaping skills need a little work, but it will get better as I keep making these.  The recipe calls for pretzel salt, but I used kosher salt instead and it didn’t seem to make a difference in the final product.  David said that these were better that the mall pretzels.  He is brutally honest when it comes to food, so I know he meant it!  His favorite type of pretzel is cinnamon sugar, so I also made that version for him.  These made a great snack one weekend night as we curled up on the couch to watch a movie.  I will definitely be making these again!

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Homemade Soft Pretzels

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt

Directions

Combine the 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. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix 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 with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch 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. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. 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. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Source: Alton Brown


17 Responses

  1. Haha, I’m a sucker for Auntie Anne’s, too. I’m so excited that this recipe isn’t too difficult. I totally want to make my own pretzels now! Yours look absolutely fabulous. Yay for homemade pretzels!

  2. I’ve had my mind on a pretzel recipe that I saw in a cookbook the other day… and now I see these! It’s making me want them even more. Soft pretzels sound great!

  3. We made those last summer……and my husband still talks about them! I guess I should break down and make them again – thanks for reminding me!

  4. My husband is all about the pretzels too. He loves the ones from street vendors, even though they have no flavor. Blech! He’s never been excited by any I’ve made at home, so it’s good to see one recommended.

  5. Ooh, I’m bookmarking these right now. I’ve been meaning to try my hand at pretzels but haven’t gotten around to it. I bet my girls would really like them. I’ve never tried soft pretzels with cinnamon sugar–I’ll have to keep that variation in mind.

  6. Soft Pretzels are on my list of things to try- these look great!

  7. I really need to try makiing soft pretzels – these look great!

  8. These look tasty! And your photos are fabulous😉

  9. These look great! I have tried this recipe 2 times now with no luck😦

  10. Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as yours. They look fab!

  11. I’m glad to read this review from someone I trust. You never know who those wackos are that give 5 stars to EVERYTHING on the FN website. I’m a sucker for soft pretzels too. I’m gonna save this recipe. Thanks!😀

  12. Love the pretzels. Im glad your husband enjoyed them. I think homemade is always better!

  13. Oh these look so heavenly .. I have to try them, I love you can use the dough hook!!

  14. Looks great! I love this recipe…I made them a few weeks ago and already have the urge to make them again!

  15. Your pretzels shaping skills are just fine! I love how they look. And so puffy yum. I’ve made this recipe before too – did you find that the pretzels had a weird kind of… aftertaste or something? I found that they did I think from the baking soda in the water.

    • Hello. I too found that it has an after taste. I think it is from the baking soda solution. I am considering making it without boiling it in the solution first. If anyone else has tried this with good results please let us know.🙂
      Jean

  16. Wow, great post and nice recipe! I will be trying these pretzels out for sure…

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