Monday, April 13, 2009

Better than Wetzel's Soft Pretzels

Mmmm, I absolutely *love* soft pretzels. Lately, whenever my husband and I are at the mall, I *have* to stop by Wetzel's Pretzels and buy a plain, original pretzel and a lemonade. They are SO good, but pricey, so I decided that I should try making them at home.

Total score!! These pretzels came out so good. My husband, who is not a huge soft pretzel fan, ate two of them! I didn't have any pretzel salt though, so I just used the regular fine grain table salt I already had, which worked just fine. I think I will be buying some pretzel salt on my next grocery store trip; I know I will be making these snacks again.

Thanks to Branny Boils Over for the recipe!

PS I promise to upload pics as soon as I find my camera cord!

Better than Wetzel's Soft Pretzels
Makes 8 pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt (I used sea salt)
• 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
• 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
• 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
• Vegetable oil, for cookie sheets
• 10 cups water
• 2/3 cup baking soda
• 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
• Pretzel salt (Again, I just used regular table salt for this)

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and pour 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. Increase speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Place dough in a well oiled bowl (I sprayed mine with Smart Balance cooking spray) and cover with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel. Allow bowl to 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 cookie sheets 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. When you dump in the baking soda, beware of foamy overflow!

While the water comes to a boil, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and place on the oiled parchment paper. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. (I rolled mine between my hands, the way little kids make Play-Doh snakes. ) 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, once at a time, for about 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. (My pretzels were done right at the 12 minute mark.)

Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving. You can serve with mustard, cheese sauce, or whatever else you like to dip pretzels in; We ate ours plain. I plan on sneaking these in my purse the next time we go see a movie!

Enjoy!

5 comments:

brannyboilsover said...

Congrats! I use coarse sea salt (instead of pretzel salt) since i put that in my salt mill and it works great. Hope you found a yummy cheese sauce, too.

Molly Jean said...

I totally sneak treats into movie theaters too ;)

Janet said...

Oh, I have some huge purses (I call them suitcase purses, lol) and we load them up with sodas, candy, snacks...This is so bad, but last Friday we put Quiznos sandwiches and chips in my purse and ate lunch while we watched The Fast and The Furious. :)

Joelen said...

I need to spend a day to make pretzels... these look fabulous!

EAT! said...

I have made pretzels a couple times, but was never really thrilled with the results. Thanks for a new recipe for me to try.

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