Soft Pretzel Passion: A Twist in my Kitchen Adventures
Well, butter my biscuits, I reckon it’s high time I share my beloved soft pretzel-making process – straight from my family hearth to your kitchen. The love I have for this chewy, salty snack is as thick as the rolling Pin I use to whip it up. So, buckle up and wash your hands, we’re about to dampen some dough!
First things first, we need to get our hands dirty – and I mean that literally. Mixing the pretzel dough is the easiest part if you ask me. It’s a matter of yeast, warm water, sugar, and flour. Throw ’em together, and you’ll have a pretty basic pretzel dough. But hold your horses, the real magic is about to unfold.
Now comes the part where we get to play. Turn that lump of dough into long ropes and twist ’em into that traditional pretzel shape. A word to the wise, though – practice makes perfect. My first few attempts at twisting pretzels ended up looking more like snakes eating their tails. But hey, we all start somewhere, right?
Once our pretzels are properly twisted, they enjoy a quick dive in a bath of baking soda water. This little swim is the difference between a regular bread roll and a golden, chewy pretzel. Et voila, they’re ready for the oven.
Baking time is always nail-biting for me. Not because I’m anxious about the result – heck, I’ve done this dance a hundred times. It’s just that the smell wafting from the oven is enough to make anyone’s stomach grumble.
Finally, the timer dings – it’s game time! Pull those golden brown beauties from the oven, slather with melted butter and a generous sprinkle of pretzel salt. Believe you me, taking that first hot, fresh bite is like tasting heaven itself. Bon Appetit!
- Gather all the ingredients: 1 1/2 cups of warm water, two tablespoons of brown sugar, one packet of active dry yeast (around 2 ¼ teaspoons), four ounces of unsalted butter that’s been melted, 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt (plus more for topping), 4 1/2 to 5 cups of all-purpose flour, and canola or vegetable oil for greasing.
- In a stand mixer bowl, mix the water, sugar, yeast, and melted butter. Wait 5 minutes for the mixture to froth up, which proves the yeast is active.
- Add the salt and slowly incorporate the flour in small increments until a dough starts forming.
- Knead the dough with the hook attachment of the stand mixer at low speed for about 5-7 minutes. The dough should be smooth and pull away from the side of the bowl when it’s ready.
- Transfer the dough to a well-greased bowl, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place for an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Boil about 5 liters of water in a large pot and add 1/2 a cup of baking soda.
- Divide the risen dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into ropes measuring about 24 inches long, then twist them into pretzel shape.
- Plunge each twisted pretzel into the boiling soda water for 30 seconds, then place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Bake the pretzels in the pre-heated oven for 15-18 minutes until they’re a beautiful golden-brown hue.
- Remove them from the oven, brush with additional melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Enjoy your freshly baked soft pretzels warm from the oven, or let them cool to room temperature. Don’t forget to share with family and friends!
That was fresh!