Pretzels

May 02, 2017  •  4 Comments

I love fresh out of the oven pretzels. I mean really who doesn't? But I've never had the desire to make them before until I moved to Australia. (Apparently Aussies only do the hard small ones as my neighbours had never heard of soft baked ones!) I use to go to this amazing German Coffee Shop in Grande Prairie, Alberta called 55a Kaffee. It was one the best things about my mornings, sitting and enjoying a coffee with a fresh pretzel in hand while the snow fell outside. Now that seems like a distant memory because there is nowhere to go for fresh baked pretzels in the Whitsundays! 

Because necessity is the mother of all inventions, I knew that at some point I was going to have to breakdown a bake some. In all honesty I thought it was going to be this big drawn out process that was going to take hours, but truthfully they were super easy to make! The hardest part was getting them into that iconic "pretzel" shape. Lol I had a pretty steep learning curve! My first ones were fat and were more like pretzel buns but by the time I rolled out about six or seven of them I had it figured out. 

This recipe is so buttery and full of deliciousness that if you eat them while they are still hot out of the oven you won't need to add anything! (But you could dip them in a spicy mustard or even chocolate...)

Baked Pretzels

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 6 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus an up to an additional 1/2 cup as needed
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  •  
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 3 cups warm water
  • coarse salt, poppy seeds or sesame seeds to taste

Directions

  • Warm the milk on stove top in a small saucepan until the temperature of milk reaches 110F degrees. Then pour milk along with the yeast into a bowl and whisk together until yeast has dissolved, let rest 5 minutes.
  • Add brown sugar, 4 tbsp of softened butter, 1 cup flour and 2 tsp fine sea salt to milk mixture and whisk until blended.
  • Add remaining 3 1/2 cups flour and kneaded mixture until it becomes elastic. 
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in warm place until it doubles in size for about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 450F degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (because you'll have to bake them in at least two batches.)
  • Punch dough down to release any air pockets. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a long, thin rope about 32 - 36 inches long (It sounds crazy but a non-floured to an extremely light floured surface worked best.) 
  • In a shallow bowl, whisk together baking soda and warm water then fully immerse the dough into water mixture and allow excess water to drip off. 
  • Place on the cookie sheet and shape the dough into pretzel. Sprinkle to taste with coarse salt, poppy seeds or sesame seeds. (My favourite is a combination of pink himalayan salt and sesame seeds.)
  • Repeat this process with remaining dough. Bake pretzels in preheated oven 7 - 10 minutes until golden brown. 
  • Serve warm with a dipping sauce if you choose. (Reheat in microwave or in a warm oven once they've cooled because warm pretzels are the best!)

  


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