Homemade Soft Pretzels

A couple of weeks ago we went to my friend Jessica’s house for a barbecue for her husbands birthday. She made these soft pretzels and I have been dreaming about them ever since.

Pretzels

This Alton Brown recipe makes soft pretzels that are perfectly tender on the inside with a warm crispy crust. They remind me so much of fall and when paired with a homemade apple butter, they are taken to a whole new sweet-and-salty realm.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Pretzels are totally the next big thing! No really! Forget about the “Cronut.” Have you noticed all the advertisements on TV for everyone’s “pretzel buns”—including Wendy’s, Sonic, Ruby Tuesday’s and Dunkin’ Donuts? Even Whole Foods was serving soft pretzels last weekend when we stopped in. I am going to try to make pretzel buns with this recipe next time we make hamburgers. Ill let you know how it goes.

The recipe was so easy and versitile that I decided to use half the dough for dinner as pizza crust.

Pretzel Pizza crust

It puffed up perfectly and was crispy around the edges—a perfect pizza crust! Will be my go-to from now on.

Pretzel Pizza Crust
Here’s Alton Brown’s recipe on the Foodnetwork.com


Homemade Soft Pretzels
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, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt (which I couldn’t find at Whole Foods, Kroger or William Sonoma—I just used coarse sea salt)

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Advertisements