Big, soft pretzels

Soft pretzels are something I’ve always loved!  In the past I’ve even purchased the boxes of frozen ones from the store, which really don’t compare to fresh ones, but still!  These were way easier than I expected, and just delicious!  They do make quite a few though, so it’s a perfect recipe for a larger gathering!

Soft pretzels (for the dough)

  • 1 1/2 c warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 4 1/2 c flour
  • 4 tbs butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl

For finishing

  • Cooking spray
  • 10 c water
  • 2/3 c baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbs water
  • Pretzel (or kosher) salt

To make the dough, combine water, sugar, sal tand yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed to dissolve the yeast.  Add in the flour and mix just until the dough comes together.  Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed until the dough is smooth and clears the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly greased with the oil, turning once to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place, about 50-55 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Bring water and baking soda to a boil in large pot.  In the meantime, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Working with one piece at a time, roll a segment out into a 24 inch long rope.  Make a U shape with the rope, holding the ends, cross them over each other and onto the bottom of the U shape in order to form the shape of a pretzel.  Place onto the parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

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Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 or 2 at a time, for 30 seconds.  Remove from water with slotted skimmer and return to baking sheet.  Once all the pretzels have been boiled, brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with salt.

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Bake in the preheated oven until dark golden brown, about 12-14 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

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