Jun 26, 2009

The Perfect Soft Pretzel

The Boyfriend mentioned to me on the phone tonight that he wished there was a place he could get a delicious soft pretzel like Auntie Anne's without going to the mall. With that being said I just so happened to have all the ingredients for such a request. I used the hook attachment on the kitchen aid mixer and it was so easy I kept checking the recipe to make sure nothing was forgotten. The result is total yum yums (as I say to my son). I baked off one for rumps & I to try...PERFECTION! Decided to save the rest of the dough for right after dinner so Will could get one warm straight out of the oven. Might I add that he said they were the best pretzels he ever had. I brushed his in melted butter then sprinkled generously with crushed sea salt. Warm, soft on the inside and super savory with the sea salt bite. I prefer mine dipped in butter and then rolled in cinnamon sugar...unbelievable! I would bake for 7 or 8 minutes instead of the 10 recommended for a softer pretzel. My son was napping during the baking process but kids would love to help out with rolling the dough into cool shapes.

1 1/2 cup warm water
1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon salt1 cup bread flour
3 cups regular flour
2 cups Warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
coarse salt
4 tablespoons butter (melted)

Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. Let rise at least 1/2 hour. While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 Tbsp baking soda. Be certain to stir often. After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope* (about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape. Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet. Allow pretzels to rise again. Bake in 450 oven for about 10 minutes or until golden. Brush with melted butter and enjoy!

Tip for Topping: Try melting a stick of butter in a shallow bowl (big enough to fit the entire pretzel) and in another shallow bowl make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Dip the pretzel into the butter, coating both sides generously. Then dip again into the cinnamon mixture. Enjoy!

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