Good morning all! I am here again with my master chef ex-sister in law, Winter, to talk about something we made that was just fantastic. Homemade Pretzels! A delicious snack for the whole family to enjoy. And before you ask, no we didn’t make any mustard.
- 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (lukewarm– no need to take temperature)
- 1 packet active dry or instant yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 4 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and slightly cool
- 3 and ¾-4 cups (460-500g) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Baking Soda Bath (Optional)
- ½ cup (120g) baking soda
- 9 cups (2,160ml) water
- Whisk the yeast into warm water. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Whisk in salt, brown sugar, and melted butter. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon (or dough hook attached to stand mixer) until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more, as needed. Poke the dough with your finger – if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 3 minutes and shape into a ball. Cover lightly with a towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. (Meanwhile, I like to get the water + baking soda boiling as instructed in step 6.)
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Silicone baking mats are highly recommended over parchment paper. If using parchment paper, lightly spray with nonstick spray or grease with butter. Set aside.
- With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into 1/3 cup sections.
- Roll the dough into a 20-22 inch rope. Take the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape.
- (This step is optional, but promises a chewier pretzel and helps provide that traditional soft pretzel taste.) Bring baking soda and 9 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Drop 1-2 pretzels into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Any more than that and your pretzels will have a metallic taste. Using a slotted spatula, lift the pretzel out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place pretzel onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with coarse sea salt. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven. With a brush take the remaining three tablespoons of melted butter on top of the warm pretzels.
- Serve warm with spicy nacho cheese sauce or some homemade mustard. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container or zipped top bag for up to 3 days (they lose a little softness).
A few things we noticed as we cooked.
One: The baking soda bath is really key. Its creates a lovely layer of golden brown and makes it so much more chewy.
Two: Make sure you give the pretzels the butter bath, it makes them taste so much better.
Three: Try to get the dough when you roll thin. It doesn’t change the taste but they look more like a pretzel.
Mark Oliver Wizard Goldstein and Winter