Monday, February 1, 2010

Das Ist Gut



Pretzels! Soft pretzels to be exact, or "pretzen" if you're the little boy I nanny for. He loves "pretzen" and he's always asking me if I have any in my purse. Along with cookies or chocolate, sprinkles or marshmallows. ha ha! I did not share these with him but I'm sure he would have loved them.



I got together with the lovely Ingrid of 3 B's- Baseball, Baking Books and Michelle of One Ordinary Day to make these pretzels. Michelle chose this soft pretzel recipe from Alton Brown and they were a winner! Mr. H took his first bite into his cinnamon sugar pretzel and said "to hell with Auntie Anne's". He loved them!

It was helpful to use 2 spatulas to remove them from the water.

They were soft and chewy, yeasty and just so good. They couldn't be simpler either. You whip up the dough in your stand mixer in about 5 minutes then you let it rest and rise for an hour. You shape them, boil them in a solution of water and baking soda for 30 seconds then bake them. In about an hour and a half you can have fresh out of the oven pretzels. Do it.

This is the salt box Mr. H got me for Christmas. I love it! He got it for me since I would keep a pinch bowl on the counter full of kosher salt. This is so much prettier and it keeps my salt clean :-)

I had no problems with these at all and the dough was so buttery soft and a breeze to work with. The recipe makes 8 pretzels so I made half salted with kosher salt and the others were brushed with melted butter and coated in cinnamon sugar. bliss. The only thing I would change next time is to only make half a batch at a time because the next day they were a little tough and a couple made their way to the trash :-( If you plan on eating all 8 in one day then by all means make them all at once.

Salted, Cinnamon Sugar, and Buttered Plain

Homemade Soft Pretzels
from Alton Brown
  • 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 or kosher 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 DO NOT USE WAX PAPER- it will smoke! 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. Don't worry, they will sink to the bottom then float back to the top. If they fall apart in the water, just quickly reshape them when you place them back on the parchment. 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.



Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels: Make and assemble the pretzels as directed above but don't brush them with the egg wash. Leave them plain. When they come out of the oven and are still hot, brush both sides with half a stick of melted butter (for 8 pretzels) and coat in cinnamon sugar.



Be sure to stop by and visit Michelle and Ingrid to see how their pretzels turned out! It was fun baking with you ladies!


Wanna bite?

36 comments:

Katie said...

Wow Monica these look fantastic! I'm drooling over the cinnamon sugar ones. Big pretzels are very hard to find in the UK which is a shame as I love them. I ahve made my own once but they were a bit too crisp so love the sound of your soft pretzels. Will be giving these a go! They look so yummy

Selba said...

... und auch sehr lecker!

Yummm... I love pretzels :)

cookies and cups said...

Homemade soft pretzels are THE BEST! They are a bit of work, but totally worth it and Alton's recipe is great.

oneordinaryday said...

Monica, they look wonderful! I didn't make any with cinnamon and sugar, but it kinda looks like it would be like a big pretzel doughnut. I might have to try it next time because I'm sure my Claudia would love it that way.

I laughed out loud at your hubby's reaction. Mine kinda did the same thing. We ate them all in one afternoon. : )

ButterYum said...

Aw... you have to make some "preten" for the little guy.

:)
ButterYum

tamilyn said...

Yes, please I'd like a bite! Yummy-soft pretzels are one of my favorite snacks!

Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} said...

I made the Alton's pretzels a few weeks ago. How funny:) they are delicious. You photos are wonderful, mine-well-a little messy! Take a look and then pat yourself on the back you did a wonderful job.
http://createdbydiane.blogspot.com/2010/01/love-knots.html

Mini Baker said...

they look just like wetzel's pretzels, but I bet yours tasted EVEN better!!
:)
-Mini

A Feast for the Eyes said...

As my mother would say, "Bretzen!!!"
Thank you for an excellent tutorial on how to shape these. Monica, I cannot wait to make these. I think they'd be perfect for Super Bowl Sunday... I love mine with salt. I'm so excited!

Memória said...

These pretzels are perfect and gorgeous. I've been wanting to make pretzels for awhile now, but since I live alone, I know they will be forgotten after eating a few. I guess I could give them away to my students... YUM!

Lissaloo said...

Yum! They look wonderful :)
I made pretzel Baguettes last week, I need to post about them, they turned out really yummy :)

Maria said...

I posted pretzel bites today, I didn't even know it was pretzel day:) Yours look GREAT!

Ingrid said...

Yay, we did it! Your pretzels look wonderfully delicious and all your photos are gorgeous (as usual)!

I had a blast baking with you and Michelle! I'm looking forward to next (this) month's challenge! :)

And yes, I do want that bite!
~ingrid

Julie said...

Oh my, I definitely need some of these!
Speaking of funny pretzel pronunciations...one day when my girl was a toddler I came home to find my husband had written "pat-show" on the white board we keep on the fridge. I asked him what it meant, he said "I don't know but she's been asking for it all day!" Don't remember how we figured it out, but it was pretzel :)

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

As much as I love to cook...this is an ambitious project, even for me. I can only imagine that they must taste fabulous...I think I'm just too lazy to make them.

Sue

Sherry G said...

YESS! I most definitely want a bite! They look outstanding=)

♥peachkins♥ said...

I could finish off three of those cinnamon sugar easily..

Christy said...

Monica-what a fun and tasty recipe to bake with foodie friends! I could probably polish off the entire batch of soft, doughy goodness!! Can't wait to try these!

Colleen said...

Monica...they look great. Coming from a Philly Chick, that says alot!!

mbc said...

I'm not brave enough to make these. I'm afraid!! I envy your fearlessness in the kitchen (and your new salt box, hubby did fantastic!).

Hennifer said...

OH YUM!!!!

Julie Harward said...

OH YUMMY...I LOVE THEM WITH THE SUGAR AND CINN. WE USED TO ALWAYS BUY THEM AT THE MALL..SO GOOD! COME SAY HI :D

Coleen's Recipes said...

I've made soft pretzels for years and NEVER ONCE did I think of using cinnamon-sugar...duh!!! These look fabulous. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE your salt container.

Anna said...

Oh wow. This one hits me in all the right places! But to think it is so easy--that is VERY appealing. This would be a fun project for sure!

Sophie said...

Yes, of course I want a bite! And that little boy sounds like my kinda guy. Tasty food should always be nearby, even in a purse :).

Smitten Sugar said...

Wow, Monica your pretzels turned out beautiful! So fun that you guys all did these together...and who can resist soft pretzels. everytime I walk past Auntie Annes in the mall the smell gets me everytime! I cant imagine being able to make them at home!

Delish! Cant wait to see what you guys bake up next!

Anonymous said...

I made these tonight and they were so good. I will definitely make them again:)

Linda said...

Great tip on reshaping the pretzels if they fall apart in the boiling water. Duh, why didn't I think of that when mine fell apart? I love the suggestion of cinnamon and sugar.

Where did your husband get the beautiful salt box?

Keeley said...

Yummy! These will be on our Snowstorm/Super Bowl Weekend Junk Food Extravaganza menu! I keep my kosher salt in a purple Emile Henry salt pig. (I thought a "salt pig" was a weird idea, but it works well for me.) Don't you just love kosher salt?

Jennifer said...

I have been drooling over these ever since you posted them. Finally made them today and they are delicious!!!!! Thanks!!!

Sherry G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori said...

You have a way with food. The pretzels are picture perfect!

Amber said...

I was craving these SOOOO badly last month...I was too tired to go to the mall though...I am printing now and hopefully making this weekend..you rock!

Esther said...

I made these and they turned out great! They really did taste like Auntie Anne's! Maybe even better. :) I bought them to someone elses house and they seemed to like it. The only thing I would change is to use less water and baking soda because in the end I had to just pour a humongous amount of leftover water away and it was a waste.

http://x3baking.blogspot.com/2010/07/homemade-soft-pretzels.html

Melisa said...

I have been wanting to make these since you first posted them and OH MY are they delicious!!!

Lisa said...

hi just wondering if the dough can be frozen if you want to make it up in advance.

Thanks

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