Homemade Soft Pretzels
You guys, I have a problem. Last week my Dad called me and said we needed to have a serious talk. I was like, “woah, what’s up Dad?” He told me he had to talk to me about something that he’d been thinking about for a long time, and he couldn’t keep quiet any longer. After he read this post from last week, he just knew he had to act. That’s when I realized…I was having a quinoantervention. That’s right, my dad told me there was only so much quinoa he could take. How can one live on quinoa alone?! If anyone could test that theory, it’d be me. So, here goes…I’m addicted to quinoa. There. I said it. Admitting it is the first step, right? So, in honor of my dear ol’ Dad, you’ll not find a speck of quinoa on the blog this week. Well, unless you have leftovers from making this…orthis….or these... Ok,
Ok, I’ll stop.
Full disclosure Dad, the quinoa ban only lasts till all my Super Bowl leftovers are gone…enjoy it while you can.
So, as we continue our week to some of the best Super Bowl snacks in the world, I give you homemade soft baked pretzels.
I made these last year for Super Bowl and they were such a hit that I’ve made them for pretty much every large gathering since and they are always everyone’s favorites. If you search the internet, you can find lots of recipes for “quick” or “easy” soft baked pretzels and if that’s what you want, fine, but they won’t be anywhere close to as delicious as these are. It’s not even that these are difficult to make, it’s just that they take time. You use yeast, and when you use yeast you have to let it rise. You also boil the pretzels before baking them, which may sound unnecessary, you may even be tempted to try one of the recipes out there that only requires baking. But if you want that true soft pretzel soft on the inside crisp on the outside texture this is the only way to go.
Plus, the whole process is kinda fun Folding the pretzels was a little tough (for me!) at first, but I got the hang of it. Michael kept trying to get be to “swing and twist” them like the pretzel makers at the mall do. Let’s just say I ruined quite a few pretzels that way!
I highly suggest a side of nacho cheese to go along with these, as well as some good mustard. I also suggest making about twice as many as you think you need, and swiping some to save in the kitchen before putting them out for the wolves. I’m not greedy, I swear! It’s necessary.
Recipe: 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 or 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.