Learning to cook … one kid at a time

Soft Pretzels January 23, 2012

Yes – I have posted a recipe for soft pretzels before

It is the recipe I grew up making with my mom – the smell of which brings back sweet childhood memories of shaping our pretzels into letters & smelling the rising yeast as the snow fell outside

Fiona was sick (for the first time poor girl) this week so Ren & I were experiencing some mad cabin fever

The kind of cabin fever that has you skip the “fast and easy” recipe in favor of the more involved kind

Since these pretzels achieve their crispy, brown crust from a quick boil in water & baking soda, this recipe comes from Mr. Kitchen Science himself: 

Alton Brown

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt

In your stand mixing bowl combine water, sugar & kosher salt

Sprinkle the yeast on top and let stand for 5 minutes, to form a ‘sponge’

Measure out the flour & melt butter

Add flour & butter to the sponge and, using your dough hook, mix on low speed until combined

Increase speed to medium and knead until the dough begins to pull away from the bowl – 4 to 5 minutes

Remove dough from bowl & wash bowl

After drying the bowl, coat the inside of the bowl with vegetable oil and place dough inside

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit, in a warm spot, until dough doubles in size (about an hour)

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease with vegetable oil

Pre-heat oven to 450˚

Bring 10 cups water and baking soda to a rolling boil on the stove

Once dough has risen, split into 8 equal pieces and let your helper roll into “snakes”

Make a pretzel shape by crossing each “snake,” twisting and doubling back over the ‘loop’ end

Place pretzels on oiled parchment paper

Drop pretzels, one at a time, into boiling water

Boil for 30 seconds

Remove with a slotted spatula (a fish spatula worked great for me!)

Return the pretzels to the baking sheets lined with oiled parchment

Brush each pretzel with the egg yolk & water mixture

Sprinkle with pretzel (or kosher like I did) salt

Bake at 450˚ for 12-14 minutes until dark, golden brown

Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving

Ren approved!


One Response to “Soft Pretzels”

  1. Aunt Jeannie Says:

    I think Ren and Fiona might just possibly be the two luckiest children in the world.

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