Who doesn’t like pretzels, right? Personally I love them, probably on the second spot right behind pizza in my top ten faves but it is pretty hard to make them at home, at least that was my experience until now. Making pretzels is pretty annoying, messy and takes quite a bit of time but I love them and I don’t really have a store next to my home where I can buy them to my heart’s desire. Hey, if any of you live in Calgary and know a place please leave a comment or send me an email. Actually Timmy has a pretzel bagel which is actually good and really works with cream cheese.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. As I was saying, the thing that I hate the most is boiling the pretzels but there is no escape from that. I could get away with dipping them into the water for 30 seconds instead of 1-2 minutes but that’s about it, cannot shave any more time from preparation. And rolling… if I was a baker that would have made sense actually but I am not and rolling long ropes of dough, sucks. Still, it is worth it and I have been making these pretzels often enough to eventually master the technique.
Another thing that I really liked is the melted butter that really, really works. I was thinking of using ghee at some point but I didn’t have any so I used the normal kind, melted in the microwave. That’s about it, not a big deal but if you want to shave some energy just involve other members of your family when making them. Enjoy!
- 4 ½ to 5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups lukewarm water
- ½ cup warm milk
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- butter for brushing
- Kosher Sea Salt
- 5 tsp baking soda
- In the bowl of your mixer, combine the warm water with the yeast and lightly stir. In another large bowl, mix the salt, sugar and flour together. When the yeast dissolves and becomes bubbly, add the flour mixture and the warm milk. Using the dough attachment, mix everything until the dough comes together and is no longer sticky. Let the dough rise until it doubles in size in a greased bowl, and covered with a damp towel. It should take about an hour but the more the better.
- Punch down the dough and divide it into 9 pieces. Take each piece and roll it into a long rope, about 3 to 4 feet and about ¾ of an inch in diameter. Shape each rope into a pretzel shape and place them onto greased cookie sheets and let them rise again for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 500° F / 260° C.
- In a large pot, make a bath with baking soda and boiling water. Using a large spoon, lower each pretzel into the water and leave in for about 30 seconds to a minute. You don't have to wait until they float. Return the pretzels to the cookie sheet and sprinkle them generously with the Kosher sea salt or poppy seeds or sesame seeds or whatever.
- Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes, depending on the oven. When you take them out of the oven you can brush them with butter and serve them hot and/or with mustard (don't think it is weird, just try it).
- Prep time includes time to allow the dough to rise. Cook time is per one cookie sheet at a time. I was able to place 3 pretzels per cookie sheet, so I baked 3 times