My kids love soft pretzels, well really, who doesn’t? I thought I would give a basic recipe a whirl before our swim meet tonight (good carb loaded snack) and then I’ll test some fun flavors the next time I make them. This recipe is an adaptation to Alton Brown’s recipe. They are very versatile and melt in your mouth delish!
1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 cups of whole wheat flour
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 6-7 minutes or until it begins to foam up. Add the flours and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Increase the speed to medium-high. Knead to 5-6 minutes. Then place the dough in a oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Store in a warm, draft-free location (I use the microwave). Let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
Over a burner on high heat, bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan. This is extremely messy as the baking soda seems to go virtually everywhere.
Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 8 inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
Once all of the pretzels are shaped, place them in the boiling water mixture for 30 seconds each. Remove with a spatula and place on your cookie sheet. Brush each with egg/water mixture. Top with salt, sesame seeds, cinnamon and sugar or whatever you would like. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.