Friday, April 27, 2012

Simple Soft Pretzels

Whenever I go to a mall, an Auntie Annie's soft pretzel is always hard to resist! However, since I have been in college, I rarely go to a mall, especially since I don't have much time or money for it. This can be problematic, because then I go through soft pretzel withdrawals (even my boyfriend experienced it, too). When I was younger, I remember my parents making soft pretzel dough in our bread machine. Us kids got to mold them into what looked nothing like pretzels but they would taste like darn good ones! This got me thinking, why not make soft pretzels at home like my parents did for us! Luckily, I was able to find a recipe that didn't call for a bread machine or bread hook attachment for a stand mixer (since I don't have any of these fancy kitchen gadgets). It is a simple and tasty recipe! Oh, and did I mention fun? My boyfriend and I made them together and it was a fun time, especially when we tried to see who could make the best looking pretzel (mine won, of course!).

Simple Soft Pretzels
adapted from Budget Savvy Diva

3 3/4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. table salt
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. melted butter
3/4 c. plus 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. (or one packet) active dry yeast
1 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. warm water

To create the signature brown outside:
2 c. warm water
2 Tbsp. baking soda

1. Place yeast in a mixing bowl with the warm water. Add in oil and stir.
2. In a separate bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter and flour. Add in the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon.
3. Add salt and mix.
4. Sprinkle a clean surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
5. Cover dough ball with a light layer of flour and place in a lightly floured bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough double in size. This will take about 2 to 3 hours.
6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and clear a large, clean work surface to shape the pretzels.
7. Take the dough in sections (about 8, depending on desired size), roll out and make into pretzel shapes.
8. Warm up 2 cups of water and add 2 Tbsp. baking soda, mix. Dip each pretzel into the mixture and place on parchment paper that is on a cookie sheet.
9. Place in oven for about 10 minutes or until the pretzels are brown.
10. Brush warm pretzels with butter and sprinkle with kosher salt, if desired. Place on a cooling rack.
11. Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauces or plain!

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