Monday, January 17, 2011

Seasoned Soft Pretzels

Last time Jeff and I traveled to NYC for the day, I talked the entire day about wanting a pretzel. I saw them on every street corner and since it was so cold outside, it seemed like the perfect thing to fill my belly and warm me up. So, before leaving we bought one (for $4 freaking dollars, but we won't get into that now). And guess what? It was horrible! It was cold and hard and tasted like smoke. Yuck. Aren't NYC pretzels suppose to be great? So, we decided to attempt to make our own using this recipe from Joy the Baker. They turned out alright-not the best, but honestly better than the one I got in the city. I think next time we try this recipe we will use less salt, since it seemed a little overbearing.

Ingredients: (taken from Joy the Baker as stated earlier)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pretzel salt, grill seasoning, or cinnamon & sugar
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda to boil pretzels

First, you have to combine the yeast, sugar, and water into lukewarm water and let sit for about 5 minutes until yeast foams. The yeast MUST foam, so if it does not than your water may not be warm enough.

Whisk together 3 1/2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon table salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Dust work surface with 1 tablespoon flour, then turn out dough and knead, gradually dusting with just enough additional flour to make a smooth sticky dough, about 8 minutes.

Return dough to bowl and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. Using your palms, roll 1 piece back and forth on a clean dry work surface into a rope about 24 inches long. If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust them with flour. Twist dough into a pretzel shape.

Transfer pretzel with your hands to an oiled baking sheet and form 7 more pretzels in same manner with remaining dough, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart. Let pretzels stand, uncovered, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a wide 6-quart pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add heaping tablespoon of baking soda.

I love the cream & sugar bowls we got off of our wedding registry (Crate and Barrel).

Using both hands, carefully add 3 pretzels, 1 at a time, to boiling water and cook, turning over once with tongs, until pretzels are puffed and shape is set, about 3 minutes. Transfer parboiled pretzels to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining 5 pretzels in 2 batches.

Finally, line baking sheet with parchment paper and oil paper, then arrange pretzels on sheet. Brush pretzels lightly with some of egg and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Bake until golden brown and lightly crusted, about 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes, then serve warm.

We also made some cinnamon and sugar ones! Jeff made the large, "mother pretzel" as we like to refer to it as...

Still not as good at Auntie Anne's of course, but sure as heck better than NYC sidewalk pretzels ;)


Heather said... Best Blogger Tips

You gotta try the recipe on Annie's Eats ( They are SO good!

marla said... Best Blogger Tips

Love that you made your own pretzels & had such great success - think I need to try doing this myself. My kids would love this for snacks & so would I :)

marla said... Best Blogger Tips

btw: your blog is wonderful!

Cait Jensen said... Best Blogger Tips

Heather-I remember seeing a pictures of you making some, and if it was Annie's recipe then I will have to try because they looked great :) Jeff and I realized we didn't twist them right afterwards-oh well, they just get eaten anyway right?

Marla-Thank you. Just started following your blog-love all of your recipes and your family is beautiful!

Ashley Miller said... Best Blogger Tips

Those look delicious!! I used to always get pretzels at the mall... but homemade anything is always better! :)

Ashley Miller said... Best Blogger Tips

P.S. I've given you an award!

Emily said... Best Blogger Tips

Those look great... I have never tried making pretzels. Looks like a lot of fun too!

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