Wednesday, October 14, 2009

soft pretzels

I came across this soft pretzel recipe at the Bake it Pretty blog. I haven't tried it, yet, but it looks like it can be a fool-proof recipe--well, fool-proof since I'm feeling pretty good about making bread these days. I think I'll let the girls help me make this one--some salty, some sweet!

Soft Pretzels

1-1/2 Cups warm water
1 Package active dry yeast
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Table salt
4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 Cup Warm Water
2 tbs. baking soda
1 tbs. kosher or sea salt

1.) In large bowl combine 1-1/2 cups of warm water, yeast and sugar. Stir to dissolve. Let stand till foamy (about 5 minutes.) Then add 1 tsp table salt and 2 cups of flour. Beat well with a wooden spoon. Gradually stir in 1 and 1/2 cups of flour to make a soft dough.

2.) Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. (About 6 minutes.) Knead in just enough of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour to keep dough from sticking. (If you have a kitchenaid mixer, use the dough attachment instead.)

3.) Shape dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover brown with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (80 to 85 deg) until double in volume. About 30 minutes.

4.) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 deg. Grease two cookie sheets, or use silpat mats, or parchment paper. Punch down dough and cut into 12 equal pieces. (More or less, depending on how large you want your pretzels to be!) Roll each piece into a rope about 24 inches long. Shape into looped pretzel shape. (Or hearts or spirals….whatever.)

5.) In a small bowl, whisk remaining 1/2 cup of warm water and baking soda until the soda has dissolved.

6.) Dip pretzels in baking soda mixture then place 1-2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt (or if you are Max, cinnamon+sugar!). Bake until lightly browned, 16 to 18 minutes, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower racks for even browning. Serve pretzels warm or transfer to wire rack to cool (and have your pink, strawberry milk ready!)

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