Thursday, June 16, 2016

Soft Pretzels

These soft pretzels were pretty much all Preston (I helped with the boiling water part of the recipe).  He had these soft pretzels on an end of the year field trip to Sundance Resort and loved them.  He came home with soft pretzels on the brain and a recipe in hand.  It only took a couple of days before he was in the kitchen using yeast for the very first time.  I love how brave he is in the kitchen. 

The first round of proofing the yeast, the water was too warm and didn't survive.  The second time around a foamy mixture meant success.  Together we rolled the dough into long ropes and Preston skillfully demonstrated the art of twisting a pretzel into the traditional "pretzel" shape for me. 

Moments after they were pulled from the oven and bathed in salty, melted butter, we devoured them.  The cinnamon sugar ones were a hit, but I'm a sucker for a warm, soft, buttery pretzel dipped in a generous amount of mustard. Mmmmm!

After our bellies were filled and our fingers were covered in butter (and cinnamon sugar), Preston conveniently left for a golf tournament leaving me with a sink full of dishes and a counter covered in flour, butter, and empty cookie sheets.  But, the mess was completely worth it.  I love watching him get excited about being in the kitchen (with the added bonus of a warm, soft pretzel of course).

Soft Pretzels

3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
6 cups of water
2/3 cup baking soda
Coarse salt
Melted butter

Place water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer.  Let rest 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.  Add the flour and butter and using the dough hook, mix on low speed until well combined.  Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is soft and glossy, about 5 minutes.  Place dough in a greased bowl and let dough sit until doubled in size, about 45-50 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease.

Portion the dough into 4-ounce balls.  Using your hands roll each piece of dough into a long rope.  Take the ends of the rope and form a U-shape.  Holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U to form the shape of a pretzel. 

In a large pot combine 6 cups of water and baking soda and bring to a rolling boil.  Place the pretzels into the boiling water, one by one, for 30 seconds.  Remove from the water using a flat spatula and place on baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.  Brush warm pretzels with melted butter.

Recipe slightly adapted from Sundace Resort

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