I’m that person that finds something cool on the internet and then leaves it open in its own tab for the following month and a half. I have windows full of recipes, places to go, things I want to read but didn’t have time for, and more. (Sidenote: Perhaps this is why Pinterest works so well for me… it’s the bookmark to my millions of interwebs windows.)
Anyways, the point is, I’ve been saving a recipe for homemade soft pretzels for ages now. I’ve been lusting over the buttery looking image for weeks. So when I headed down to Santa Barbara last week, Rae and I decided it was high time they were made. In the daze of the morning post shooting a wedding, we got the yeast living, the dough rising, and the pretzels pretzel-ing. And it was just as buttery and delicious as the picture I’ve been staring at for weeks may have suggested.
A note on this recipe: It is waaay easier than I expected. Way. Easier. And the results are amazing. Do it now.
A second note on this recipe: I have no idea where it came from. Besides the fact that I’ve had a recipe open on my desktop for ages, this one is that one. This recipe came torn out of somewhere and stashed in Rae’s recipe book. She has made it before and loved it then, so we went with it. We used the exact recipe she had, I’ve kept the same ingredients list of course, but I have changed the directions to be in my own words and offer my own suggestions. The recipe snippet from whoever posted this suggests that the recipe is originally from Alton Brown. I have since googled him.
xo – Simone Anne
Ingredients – 1.5 cups warm water (110-115 degrees Fahrenheit), 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 package of active dry yeast, 22 ounces (apprx 4.5 cups) of all-purpose flour, 2 ounces unsalted butter (melted), vegetable oil for pans, 10 cups of water and 2/3 cup of baking soda, 1 large egg yolk beaten with one tablespoon of salt, pretzel salt (also margherita salt works well if that’s more your thing haha)
Directions – Combine water, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit for five minutes until the yeast gets foamy/bubbly. We did this in a stand mixer’s bowl, but I am sure you can get around without one if need be. Add flour and butter and mix until well combined (on low speed). Change to medium speed and mix/knead until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, smooth. This should take approx 4-5 minutes. Oil a clean bowl, return the dough to the bowl and sit in a warm place for about an hour (dough should double in size). If you cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean towel, this should help.
Preheat over to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper and coat lightly with vegetable oil.
Bring ten cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil.
While waiting for the water to boil, divide dough into sixteen approximately even. Roll each piece of dough in to a rope and form it in to pretzel shape. The best way is to make a smilie face (holding the ends of the rope) and then cross them over each other and press them down to connect them to the bottom of the ‘U.’ Place each pretzel on the parchment lined baking sheets.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water two by two for thirty seconds at a time. Remove from the water using a spatula or slotted spoon. Place on the parchment lined pans and brush each pretzel with the egg wash, then sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving.
Enjoy with mustard and margaritas. Or whatever strikes your fancy. ;)