Happy Sunday Everyone!
Every year I visit my best friend & cousin in Florida and since we were little we made a little tradition of going to “Pretzel Time” and grabbing a delicious warm salted pretzel with a cold lemonade in the local Ocala Mall. It’s just one of those things that we both get excited about and enjoy watching through the window as the employees make the soft pretzels right in front of your very eyes. Unfortunately Pretzel Time was taken out of the mall and Auntie Anne’s was added in. Of course we tried it! With cheese, mustard and even a hot dog right in the middle but I have to say, nothing beats the soft pretzels from Pretzel Time.
With that being said, this weekend I decided to tackle something I’ve always wanted to try. While watching endless youtube videos of ‘how to make soft pretzels’ I kept assuming that the process was just long, frustrating and tedious. I then decided to at least give it a try and combine a few youtube videos together to make my own home made soft pretzel from scratch!
Though the process was not fast and easy (and believe me when I say I am the most impatient person EVER!) the end result was perfection which made it worth the wait. Crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside! I would recommend trying this recipe on a saturday or sunday when you have time to yourself and don’t have many errands to run as the process requires tender loving attention and care! The best part about this recipe is that you probably have all of these ingredients, if not most at home. Now enough pep talk, lets get this recipe started!
a) 1.5 cups of warm water (make sure the water is not hot or your yeast will not activate)
b) 1 Tbsp of Sugar
c) 1 tsp of Salt
d) 1 package of Dry Yeast
e) 2 Tbsp of melted Butter
f) 4 ½ cups of All Purpose Flour
g) 5 cups of HOT water
h) 1/2 cup of Baking Soda
i) Egg Wash (1 Egg beaten)
j) Kosher Salt or Cinnamon + Sugar for seasoning
k) Vegetable Oil (As needed)
l) Pam or Cooking Oil Spray
Step 1: Prep all of your items, this makes the process much faster as you aren’t running around your kitchen looking for the necessary ingredients/items. I do not have all of my pictures here but you get the idea ;). Also, preheat your oven at 420 degrees.
Step 2: In your mixer, or a bowl, combine your Sugar, Salt, Warm Water and Yeast (do not mix). The yeast will start activating when it forms a foam like texture – this should take about 5 minutes. Once the yeast is activated, put your mixer on low to combine all of the ingredients together. The picture below is an example of what the yeast should look like when it is activated, you will notice that it is a little foamy, dissolved and separated.
Step 2: After measuring out EXACTLY 4.5 cups of flour and keeping your mixer at a low speed, start adding in your flour very slowly. If you go too fast, your flour can spill everywhere and make a big mess.
Step 3: After your flour has been incorporated, add in your melted butter very slowly.
Step 4: When your yeast mixture, flour and butter are incorporated, turn your mixer up to a medium speed and let it go for about 7-10 minutes. You are looking to make sure that your dough mixture becomes well incorporated and soft.
Step 5: Take your dough out of the mixer and gently pull it together. Put your dough in a lightly oiled bowl and tightly seal it with saran wrap. Make sure you do not let any air out.
Step 6: Next, put your bowl in a closed space, this could be your microwave or stove (don’t turn ON the microwave/stove obvs). This is just so that you can let your dough rest and rise. Leave it in the closed space for 2 hours for best results. 1 hour will do if you really are that impatient. #dontbeimpatient
Step 7: This is the best part. I love the difference in the dough size and the dough texture – its so soft! On your counter, sprinkle some flour and take your dough out of the bowl.
Step 7: Grab a knife and cut your dough into 2 pieces. Then, taking one side you want to cut 6 equal pieces.
Step 8: Working quickly one by one (so your dough doesn’t become crusty), roll out a portion you originally cut and make it into a “U” shape.
Step 9: Take the right side of your “U” and bring it over to the bottom left side. Do the same with the left side of the “U” and bring it over to the bottom right. Since this was a horrible explanation, refer to the pictures below. LOL
Step 10: After you have successfully made the perfect pretzel shape, put your pretzels on a tray topped with parchment paper that has previously been sprayed heavily with cooking oil.
Step 11: While your pretzels are resting, grab a bowl and add your water and baking soda mixture. You want to submerge each pretzel into the mixture for 30 seconds, dry the pretzel on a towel and put it back onto the tray.
Step 12: You then want to take your egg wash mixture and brush each pretzel. Once each pretzel is brushed, sprinkle some sea salt on top!
Step 13: Throw your pretzels into the oven for about 10-12 minutes. Make sure to turn your tray around half way through the baking process, this will help evenly bake the pretzels. This recipe will make 12 pretzels, I did not put both trays into the oven at the same time. When the pretzels are out, they should be golden brown, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.. and yes I am drinking coke in a cup.
And there you go my friends! 13 easy steps to making fabulous delicious pretzels! It may be a long process but it really is simple and easy. Do not rush and follow each step thoroughly. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comment section and I will answer them to the best of my ability!
Happy Pretzel-ing & Good Luck!