Soft Pretzels 1.0

by byn on February 9, 2012

in Bread

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Cinnamon sugar soft pretzels from Auntie Anne’s are one of the small joys of my life. One of the only upsides to getting a connecting flight vs. direct through the states, is that I get to have one as my layover snack, which is just lovely. (Except you Miami International, wtf?! I had a eight hour layover there in the Fall and I definitely could’ve used some comfort carbs to calm myself!)

Anyway, I decided that after my recent successes with pizza dough and cinnamon buns, soft pretzels should my next yeast project while I sort of watched the Superbowl last Sunday. Everything was going great though the beginning stages: my yeast was bubbly, my dough rose, I had no problems rolling and shaping the pretzels. But the recipe I used neglected to tell me one thing. The pretzels puff up when you boil them, and then AGAIN when you bake them! So mine were like super jumbo pretzels! The flavour and texture was delicious, but it was seriously just too much dough. Next time, I would roll the pretzels way thinner, make them smaller overall, and maybe try baking them on my pizza stone for a crispy bottom. And dip them in cinnamon sugar of course! 

Quick notes: I did all my nerdy baking tricks here, I took the temperature of the water, I weighed my flour, and I used my oven trick to get the dough to rise. More on that here.

Soft Pretzels

Source: Annie’s Eats

Yield: 8 big pretzels (I would try for thinner, smaller ones next time)

Ingredients

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

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp kosher salt

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

22 oz (1 lb, 6oz) all purpose flour

4 tbsp butter, melted

+ 10 cups water, 2/3 cups baking soda (for boiling)

+ 1 egg yolk, 1 tbsp water (egg wash for brusing on the pretzels)

+ kosher salt

Directions

  1. Mix water, sugar, salt and yeast in a big bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes so the yeast can soften and get foamy.
  2. Add the flour and butter and mix with a spoon just until the dough comes together.
  3. Dump everything onto the counter and knead dough until it becomes smooth (this took about 5 minutes for me).
  4. Transfer dough to a big bowl greased lightly with vegetable oil. Turn the dough to coat, then cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set aside to rise, about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450, and fill your biggest pot with water (about 10 cups). Add the baking soda, stir it around, and bring it to a boil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Divide the dough into 8 pieces, and roll each into a long thin rope, then into a U and then cross the ends over to make a pretzel shape.
  7. Boil each pretzel, one at a time, for 30 seconds, then remove from water and place on the baking sheet.
  8. Brush each pretzel with the egg wash, sprinkle with salt, and bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before eating.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Catherine February 24, 2012 at 7:48 pm

We made these tonight. They are delicious!

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Kristine February 15, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Ummm… Why wasn’t I called over for these? You know I share your love of auntie anne’s cinnamon pretzel nuggets! Was I not the one begging to make it the first stop in Denver? Next time, I want a call. Those looked great btw.

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Byn February 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm

because it was my first try and i wasn’t sure how they would go! i’ll make them again, don’t worry! cinnamon pretzel nugget style!

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Danielle February 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm

You are finally conquering your fear of yeast!! I’m very proud. And be real, you know you just flipped back and forth between the Superbowl and E! until the half-time show started!

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Byn February 15, 2012 at 8:00 pm

busted, but i did watch the entire second half without flipping. you’ll understand after you watch friday night lights!

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dulcetdevotion February 10, 2012 at 10:44 am

I tried making pretzels last year for Oktoberfest, and they are much easier than expected. I honestly thought there’d be no way for them to turn out properly the first time around. I definitely noticed the same problem with them puffing up during the boiling AND baking. But I like all that dough. I’ll have to try them again and add the cinnamon sugar. What was I thinking last time, not including that step? 😉

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