"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Buttery Soft Pretzels

Photo courtesy of allrecipes.com
I had been thinking about trying to make homemade pretzels and found this great recipe on allrecipes.com.  I made it this weekend when Kent and I were watching some football games.  It made a great snack!  I had only worked with yeast one other time, but it wasn't difficult at all.  These are so fun to make and taste even better than ones you can buy at the mall or ballpark!

Buttery Soft Pretzels
Ingredients used to make the dough:
4 teaspoons active dry yeast (you can buy packages on the baking isle)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Ingredients used for cooking the pretzels:
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes.  (I kneaded it on a baking mat but was not able to use every bit of the flour - they still turned out great!) Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.

When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. (Make a U shape and then cross the ends of the rope.) Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt. (I brushed each pretzel with melted butter before I salted them - yum!)

Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.

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