SMiLes by Meg

Soft Pretzels

So I’ve made pretzels before. But that was back in 2014. And, really, I’ve been at this blog for almost seven years – I think it’s probably time to start revisiting recipes, since I’m about 1000% sure I’m more proficient now than I was when I first started.

Don’t worry, I’ll still predominantly be making new things. But when circumstances present themselves that seem to require a repeat, I’m not going shy away from it.

This week, obviously, is Super Bowl. Which is a perfect reason for pretzels. Especially because I’m watching Super Bowl at my apartment with my work computer out, rather than at a friend’s party. I needed a win.

The recipe I used this time is a little different, and the poaching process is a little better, too.

Start by making the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the warm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface and let it sit for 10 minutes. It will foam up. Positive thinking is the key to working with yeast.

Add 1 cup of flour and mix on low speed of the stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment until combined.

Add the salt and 4 more cups of the flour. Increase speed to medium low and mix until dough pulls away from the sides, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add another 1/2 cup of flour and mix on low. Turn dough out and knead a couple times until smooth.

Put dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a dish towel, and leave in a warm spot to rise for an hour, until doubled in size. I put this in the oven, after letting heat up for 2 minutes and turning it off.

Punch down the dough and cut into 16 pieces. I didn’t take a picture of it, but I used my new OXO bench scraper!

Wrap the dough pieces in a big piece of plastic wrap. Working with one at a time on an unclouded surface, roll a piece into a long rope, about 18 inches long.

Fold it into a pretzel shape. This isn’t actually hard. You pull up the ends, give them a twist, and that’s it.

Place the pretzels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a SilPat! Another new toy!). Cover with a towel and let sit for 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water, filled about 2 inches high, to a boil. Add baking soda and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. The baking soda fizzes up, so take a step back when you add it.

Reduce the water to a simmer. Add three pretzels at a time. Allow to boil 1 minute on one side, flip them, and boil the other side for a minute. Remove from water and place back on baking sheets. Repeat with remaining pretzels.

Whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon of water in a small dish. Brush each pretzel liberally with the egg wash and sprinkle with flaky salt.

Bake at 450°F for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Allow to cool at least momentarily before eating, but definitely have these warm.

I also recommend serving with Frito cheese sauce. Madison went to two different stores to find this for me (she’s a hero). I didn’t know it would be a hard find, but it’s basically nacho cheese in a can, which is obviously awesome.

This was an AWESOME Super Bowl snack.

Store them at room temperature, but not covered – they’ll get soggy.

All in all, definitely worth revamping this recipe. The original was fine, but these were fluffy, chewy and delicious.

Enjoy!

Soft Pretzels

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 5 to 6 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • Flaky sea salt

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together warm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the top and allow to sit for 10 minutes to foam up.
  2. Add 1 cup of flour and mix on low speed of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment.
  3. Add 4 cups of flour and salt and mix on medium low speed until dough begins to pull away from the sides.
  4. Add another 1/2 cup of flour and mix on low speed. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple of times until smooth. Add more flour if too sticky.
  5. Place dough in a bowl sprayed with cooking spray, turning the dough to coat. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size.
  6. Cut dough into 16 pieces and wrap in plastic wrap.. Working with one piece at a time, roll into a rope on an unclouded surface about 18 inches long.
  7. Fold into a pretzel shape and put on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a kitchen towel.
  8. Fill a large pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add baking soda and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Reduce to a simmer.
  9. Put the pretzels in the pan 3 at a time, poaching on each side for 1 minute before removing from pan to put back on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
  10. Whisk together egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush each pretzel liberally and sprinkle with salt.
  11. Bake at 450°F for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

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