Sunday, September 15, 2013

Homemade Pretzels

NOTE: I made the pretzel dough in my bread machine (dough cycle). You can use your Kitchen Aid (I will have me one of these one day, I tell you!) or other stand mixer if you prefer.
ALSO NOTE: The decimals in this font are rather obscure (you can't see 'em) so pay attention that you don't get all crazy with the amounts. I mean, who would think you're supposed to use 15 cups of water and 45 cups of flour in a batch of dough? Are you feeding a farm? Anyhow. Don't do it.

All this goes into the bread maker:
1.5 cups room-temp water
1/2 stick melted butter
1.5 tsp. salt
1 TB sugar
4.5 cups all purpose flour
1 TB yeast

Save this for after that:
6 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda
Coarse salt
1 stick melted butter (optional, but not really. but seriously.)
Cinnamon/sugar (also optional, with the same caveat).

  • After the dough cycle completes, dump the dough out onto a buttered surface (cutting board, pastry sheet, unsuspecting counter top, etc.). 
  • Press out dough and cut however your little heart desires. You can cut 10-12 equally-sized pieces and roll each one into a rope to form traditionally-shaped (large) pretzels, or you can cut into strips and then bite-sized pieces with a pizza cutter (this is what I did).
  • Leave those to rise a bit on the buttered surface while you...
  • Stir baking soda into water in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to continue a steady simmer.
  • Preheat oven to 450. I had to reduce mine to 385, but that's 'cause the dadgum repairman did some kind of voodoo on it last month when it wouldn't heat right and now it's a guessing game on what temp to actually use. Anyhow.
  • Carefully and without 'deflating' pretzels entirely (don't fret over this too much--basically just don't squish them to bits and you should be fine), submerge each one in the boiling baking soda water for about 30 seconds, then flip over for another 20-30 seconds, then remove with a large slotted spoon or spatula to a wire rack or broiler rack to drain. {You can also brush a beaten egg/water mixture over your pretzels if you feel froggy, but I didn't, at least this time. Suit yourself if you want a more yellowish, glossy finished look.)
  • Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  • Leave some unsalted if you're feeling a little wild and want to sprinkle some with cinnamon/sugar after they are baked and buttered.
  • Line a baking/cookie sheet with parchment. Gently brush it with melted or softened butter.
  • Gently place pretzels onto baking sheet (it should hold 6-8 at a time), place into preheated oven, and bake for 12-15 min. or until they reach desired golden brown.
  • I ran mine through a melted butter bath before tossing them all into a wooden bowl for serving, 'cause that's how I roll.
  • ENJOY!