Sunday, October 12, 2008

Soft Pretzels

These have been on my to-make list for awhile, but it wasn't until I was standing in my kitchen, thinking about making some bread, that I realized I had all the ingredients and plenty of time to make pretzels.  I'm so happy I did, because these were HIGHLY addictive.  Like, so addictive I probably won't make them again for a few months because they were gone way too fast.

They are best right out of the oven (with plenty of mustard, of course), but as my husband discovered, cold ones are easy to reheat in the toaster.

(adapted from Home Baking by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid)
1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 cup bread flour
1 1/4 to 2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk
2 tsp milk
kosher salt

Place the scalded milk in the bowl of a stand mixer, and stir the yeast in until dissolved.
Add the honey and one bread flour, and stir until smooth.
Sprinkle on the salt, add the butter, and stir well to incorporate.  
Add 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, and mix with the dough hook for about 5 minutes, until dough is smooth.  Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.
Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1/5 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and cut into 8 equal pieces.
Roll each piece out into a long skinny rope, 24-30" long.  Pick up the ends, twist, and press into a typical pretzel shape.  

Let the pretzels rise for about 10 minutes under a clean kitchen towel while you boil 1 cup of water with the baking soda in a small saucepan (make sure one pretzel at a time will fit in the pan!)
Mix together the egg yolk and milk.
Carefully lift a pretzel with a spatula and place in the boiling water.  After 20 seconds, remove and shake off the water.  Place on a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining pretzels.
Brush the egg yolk-milk mixture over the pretzels, then sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake for about 12 minutes, or until deeply golden brown, then cool on a wire rack.


Anonymous said...

oooh hoo hoo!!! Soft pretzels are my ALL TIME fave. And yeah, they are way addictive. I can't make them or I'll eat the WHOLE BATCH myself! :)

Katie said...

OMG, my husband is going to love you, er me, for these! Thanks!

susan said...

OMG!! your pretzels are adorable!

Vera said...

Cate, these are amazing! And they are also on my "to-do" list :) Now I feel like I have to make them ASAP.

Anonymous said...

I am making these this weekend, for sure!

That Girl said...

The color on these is absolutely fantastic.

Maria said...

Glad you made pretzels. We love making them!

Erica said...

Great blog! I just found you via Maria! I love love soft pretzels. I must try this recipe!

~Amber~ said...

I love soft pretzels, these look sinful!

Jesse said...

We have to keep batches of pretzels frozen so my husband can eat them in the morning... isn't that the oddest breakfast? So yes - I second that they reheat well. These are so adorable!

Emilie said...

These look great -- I'm going to make them today. One question -- you have the AP flour amount as 1-1/2 to 2 cups in the ingredients, but the instructions say to add 1-1/4 cup and then mix with dough hook, and then flour is not mentioned again. Is that additional amount what can be added if the dough is too sticky? Thanks.

Cate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cate said...

Emilie - sorry about that. I fixed the recipe, and you were right, the extra is in case the dough is too sticky. Happy baking!