Sunday, November 10, 2013

Homemade Soft Pretzels

I thought I'd tell you:  I regularly participate in a couple monthly blog events.  

Taste & Create is a fun one, (created by my friend Nicole who passed the torch to me when she opened her own bakery/cafe in Germany), in which participants are randomly partnered up and tasked with creating a recipe from each other's blog.  (click the link above and email me at cowgirlmin07[at]gmail[dot]com if you'd like to join us!)

The Secret Recipe Club is interesting too, participants are assigned blogs and make recipes, but there are no partners, everyone is in sort of a daisy-chain of food.  (click on the logo at the bottom of this post to get on the list for this one)

This month, the blog I was assigned for Secret Recipe Club was:

I was initially tempted by Dee's various apple recipes...Apple Pie Swedish Pancakes led to Apple and Walnut Coffee Cake and Apple Skillet Pancake and
Apple Almond Crostata and...and...and...

Somehow, I ran across this recipe for a savory, spicy little treat called Jalapeño Three-Cheese Swirls.  And at that moment, I had chosen.  Or so I thought!

When I had gathered the ingredients and the time came to make the Jalapeño Swirls, I clicked over to Dee's pizza dough recipe, where I stumbled across THIS

I've been wanting to make Soft Pretzels for years, and never bit the bullet.  The Time Is NOW.

I was really intrigued with the sausage-wrapped pretzel option, but I'm all out of sausages of any sort.  Next time.  For now, I'm just going with a classic Soft Pretzel.  And I am SO EXCITED!!!

The dough is super easy to mix up.  The trickiest part is getting the pretzels OUT of the simmering water...I used a slotted spoon, but was wishing for a flatter utensil which must be down at the ranch!  Take it from me, tongs definitely do NOT work!  ;-)

The other tip I would add:  roll the pretzel "snakes" long and skinny, then form.  We shaped ours not taking into account the rising they would do, so they turned out more like rolls than a classic pretzel.  Not that I'm complaining!

For some reason our first pan also came out a lot lighter than Dee's...I baked the second pan a few minutes longer, and they browned right up.  I may actually prefer the lighter, softer pretzels as opposed to the crunch of the darker pretzels.  I think I'll need to keep making and eating more pretzels to "perfect" this recipe!  ;-)  Delicious with a dab of Dijon!  Can't wait to try them with sausage inside.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Recipe adapted from On The Move, via Growing Up Gabel

1 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
12 cups water
¼ cup baking soda
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon water
Coarse salt, to taste

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar.  Add 1 cup flour.  Add in oil and salt and 1 more cup of flour. Stir to combine.

Add enough flour to make a smooth, elastic dough, slightly tacky is fine. (At this point, I hadn't realized that the "enough flour" was about 2 3/4 cups, so I think I only used about 1 additional cup--it seemed to match the smooth, elastic, slightly tacky description...Fingers crossed!)  Knead dough a few times in the bowl.  Cover bowl and let dough rise until doubled (about 1 hour).

Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees. Grease baking sheets. (I used parchment paper instead)

Bring the 12 cups of water to a boil in a large stock pot. SLOWLY add in baking soda (slowly to minimize foaming). Keep water simmering.

Gently punch down dough and divide in to 6 or 12 pieces (depending on size of pretzel you want).

Roll each piece of dough out to an 12-18″ rope. Shape in to pretzel shape and pinch ends to close up. OR, use a dough rope to wrap up a link or smaller piece of sausage, encasing it completely and pinching the ends to secure. Repeat with remaining dough and sausages.

Boil each pretzel for 10-15 seconds, making sure all sides are boiled.  Place pretzels on greased baking sheets, 1 inch apart.  Cover pretzels and let rest for 5 minutes.

Whisk together egg yolk and water and then brush on top of pretzels. Sprinkle salt on pretzels.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Secret Recipe Club


Anonymous said...

I've been thinking of making pretzels recently too. Yours look lovely.

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

I'm so impressed; your pretzels came out gorgeous. What a great recipe too to make your own.

Rebekah said...

I've made mini-pretzel dogs (the dough wrapped around hot dog halves) before boiling and baking - and my family loves them. I seriously need to try them plain - either as rolls or just little nuggets. So delicious!
Great SRC choice!

Unknown said...

I love soft pretzels! Yours looks great.

Unknown said...

I love making homemade soft pretzels! They're so simple to make and so much better than store bought ones!

Morsels of Life | CJ Huang said...

Making soft pretzels has me scared, but I'm thinking I really should make them soon! Yours came out so well. :)

SeattleDee said...

Delighted that you enjoyed the pretzels, they are one of our favorite Autumn treats. Try making little pretzel balls for a quick bite (no rolling and twisting required!).

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