Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home Made Soft Pretzels

When I posted my Home Made Bagel recipe someone commented or whether or not I thought that recipe could be used to make soft pretzels - what a genius!! So, today I decided to test that theory.

I was alone in the kitchen and when I pulled them out of the oven - everyone came running. Jack had his plain (salted), Maisie had hers with ranch dressing, my hubs had his with mustard, I had mine with cream cheese and my baby had hers with butta. YUM.

As I mentioned before - I made 2 batches so I had 8 BIG dough balls - if you adhere to the recipe, you will have 8 small dough balls...
Roll it out nice and thin - Remember how big mine turned out - next time I'll roll them even thinner...
This is what they looked like right before they took their bath...
And the finished product - I've been saying they are huge - but I should at least mention that this isn't a dinner plate, it's a salad plate - they aren't THAT big:)
Homemade Soft Pretzels
4 cups bread flour *remember how I told you that using 'bread flour' is really important in certain recipes - this is one of them*
1 Tbls sugar
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 Tbls vegetable oil
2 tsps instant yeast
1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. You don't have to worry about soaking the yeast when you use instant yeast (most yeast sold these days is instant yeast). The dough should feel stiff, but add the extra water if it's really stiff, or you can't get all the dry flour incorporated. Plop the dough down onto the counter, and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth. Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes. *Since this is the first time trying this, I decided to use double the amount of dough per pretzel - so I only had 4 equal sized balls - and my pretzels turned out GINORMOUS. They were awesome, but next time I'll stick with the original recipe.

Now, take each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a long thin snake on the counter - remember they will be just about double the size you make them - so go thin. Then shape them into pretzels. Let your dough rest on the counter for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil, and grease a large baking tray lightly. You can just rub a splash of vegetable or olive oil and rub it around.
After the 20 minute wait, your pretzels will start to look puffy, and it's time to get them boiling! Add them as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute. *If you decide to 'go big' like I did - you'll need to boil them for about 90 seconds on each side* Take them out and set them on a cooling rack for a minute or two and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the pretzels are boiled. If you want to make traditional salted pretzels, sprinkle them with Kosher Salt right when you get them out of the water.

Bake them at 425 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes flipping them over half way through. Then feast on these delicious babies.

**One last tip. I made 2 batches because with they way I did them (the hugeinic way) I would've only ended up with 4 pretzels - and that just wouldn't fly around here. So - here's the tip - NEVER, EVER, EVER DOUBLE YOUR BATCH. The dough is so stiff you can't work with it. I made 2 batches - but I made them in seperate bowls - so if you are making them for a crowd - get out a bowl for each batch and get 'er done!

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