Last week R and I tried our hand at making homemade pretzels. The results were so tasty, I had to share the recipe. With just a touch of pre-planning, it was so much easier than I expected. If I can do it, anyone can.
Yes-You-Can's (get it?) Soft Pretzels
1 c water (105-115 degrees--just do it by "feel"--hot, but not scalding water from the tap)
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 t)
2 c white flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour (or just use white)
2 T butter, softened
1/2 t salt
1 T sugar
4 c water
5 t baking soda
kosher salt for sprinkling
If you have a stand mixer or food processor, mix the water and yeast together and let stand for 5 minutes. While the yeast is dissolving, mix the 4 cups of water and baking soda together in a small sauce pan on the stove for later.
Once the yeast is dissolved, add 2 cups of flour, soft butter, salt and sugar and mix for 2-3 minutes. Add additional 3/4 c flour and knead for 1 minute.
Touch the dough. Is it sticky? Add a little more flour until the dough is moist but does not stick to your fingers. Place the dough in a bowl, spray the inside of the bowl with some cooking spray and cover to let rise.
(*I did the dough the night before we made the pretzels. After the dough rose, I wrapped it and placed it in the refrigerator for the night. Then, in the morning I took it out to rise again. This gives it extra flavor and allows you to have the dough ready to go for your little one to help.*)
Once the dough has risen, punch the dough down and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 18 inch length, and twist to make into a pretzel shape, or get creative and do whatever shape you would like. Place on a floured plate while you make the other shapes.
Once all the pretzels are formed, cover and let them rise for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the water and baking soda mixture to a boil to prep for dunking. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Once the pretzels have risen again, dunk each in the boiling mixture for about 30 seconds, before placing them on a baking sheet and sprinkling each with kosher salt.
Bake until crispy and golden, about 12 minutes. Yum, yum!