Hey, is this thing on?
Happy Monday, everyone! It’s been so crazy around here the last two weeks that I feel like a pretzel. More on what I’ve been up to shortly. In the meantime, I’m sharing my new love.
I didn’t mean to fall. It was an accident. Still, the Yeast Cupid got me just the same.
While opening a wonderful little care package I received from King Arthur Flour earlier this spring, a glossy piece of cardstock with many lines of text and numbers slipped out of the box and slid innocently along the floor to rest in front of the fridge in my kitchen.
Of course, I was on it like white on rice – scooped that baby up and behold: it told me how to bake soft pretzels. As in here, in my humble kitchen. Hmm…these might make me a hero if I could get them right. Okay, file these in my idea book and keep on rolling, I thought to myself.
Last week I finally circled back and when I cracked open my idea book, there they were. Instant attraction. Even lightning bolts. So I took the first (always skeptical) concentrated read-through and gave them a whirl the same afternoon.
You can guess what I’m about to say next. Yep, a new obsession was born. Love at first pretzel-shaping.
I’ve made these adorable, easy and delish pretzels six times since. Six. They never last an entire day and rarely an hour. You can take these the standard, as-published route, or add your own herb mix to go savory, or try a cinnamon-sugar topping, possibly, for a sweet version. Also, experiment with different pretzel sizes and add an extra twist in the middle while shaping a larger pretzel.
High WOW-factor, low on the putz meter. What could be better? Just don’t stay home alone with them.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
To note: You can certainly make this pretzel dough and bake the same day, however, for a richer, more “pretzel-y” dough flavor, I wrap my dough in plastic after it has risen and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. When you’re ready to bake, remove the dough from the fridge and let warm to room temp (about an hour) before dividing and shaping. If you bake a sweet version of these, I recommend baking the same day you make the dough (no hint of sour at all).
Hot Buttered Pretzels
Approx prep: 35 minutes Rise time: 30-45 minutes Bake: 9 minutes Yield:
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
7/8 cup lukewarm water
3 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
1. Place all dough ingredients in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached.
2. Knead by hand or mixer five minutes or until a soft, smooth and slack dough forms (note: my dough, when ready, feels “clammy” to the touch but isn’t sticky).
3. Sprinkle dough with flour, cover and let rise 30-45 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 475° F. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line with parchment.
5. Divide the dough into 8 pieces Add the baking soda to the boiling water, stirring vigorously to dissolve; allow water to cool to lukewarm as you shape the pretzels.
6. Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope (about 18-20″), bring ends around and cross the center of the rope and drape tails into a pretzel shape.
7. Pour cooled baking soda wash into a 9×9 square baking pan. Place the pretzels, two at a time, into the water and soak for 2 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet.
8. Bake pretzels for 8-9 minutes or until golden brown, rotating baking sheet in oven halfway through. Remove from oven, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Enjoy hot.