Soft Pretzels

PretzelsI’m guilty.

I’ll admit it.

I don’t always follow recipes.

Sometimes I don’t even read them the whole way through, I just get so inspired and excited that I have to start making something and then I’m just flying by the seat of my pants.

To state the obvious, this method does not always result in success.

But this time, I took it slow, I read this recipe all the way through multiple times. There are plenty of recipes for soft pretzels out there but I chose this one because while the recipe looked like all the others, the pictures were lovely. I’m a sucker for pretty pictures, they don’t call it food porn for nothin’.¬†Pretzel

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups warm water (110-115 F)

1 Tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons flake sea salt

1 package of active dry yeast

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Olive oil or vegetable oil

10 cups of water

2/3 cup baking soda

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 Tablespoon water

Salt to sprinkle on top of the pretzels (I tried lots of different combinations of salt, Celery Salt, Black Truffle Sea Salt, and Flake Salt with Bali Pyramid)

In the bowl of your mixer combine water, sugar, and salt. Add the yeast and let it sit for five minutes or until it begins to foam.

Add the flour and butter. Using the hook attachment mix on low until everything is combined. Then kick it up a notch and knead the dough on medium until it is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, 4 to 5 mins.

Get yourself a clean bowl and grease it with oil, I used olive oil. Take the dough and plop it into your greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for an hour or until the dough doubles in size!

Preheat the oven to 450F and place the racks in the middle positions.

Line two baking sheets with lightly oiled parchment paper.

And this is the point when I really didn’t follow that recipe I told you about. I wanted to make heart shaped pretzels, tis the season for that sort of falderal. Roll that dough out however suits your fancy. Don’t flour your work surface, just use your palms to roll the dough from the center out into ropes.

Once you have your pretzel twists or twisted hearts or letters, combine the 10 cups of water and the baking soda in an 8 quart pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, drop the pretzels in one at a time for 30 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon or spatula. Place on your baking sheets. Paint pretzels with the yolk and water combo and sprinkle with your choice of salt or spice blend!!

Bake the pretzels for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating pans and switching top and bottom pans. The pretzels should be a lovely golden brown color

The final step is to enjoy!!!!