A Twist on Your Boring Bread
There’s almost nothing I love more than a good soft pretzel. I remember getting them as a kid at the snack stand at every sporting event I went to, and I was hooked.
As I got older, I realized that the quality of soft pretzel greatly varies. I prefer to treat myself to good ones rather than the semi-warm, tough ones you find at those stadium snack stands.
As we are all confined to our homes for who knows how long, I thought it would be a great idea to try and make some of my favorite snacks that are hard to come by these days. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people had the same idea because when I went on my grocery trip to get ingredients, flour and instant yeast were totally out.
Texting all of my friends, I told them to keep an eye out for me, and thankfully, someone came through and bought me a bag of flour. A friend who had just made bagels was able to provide yeast, and we were in business!
How to Make Simple Pretzels
I found a fairly simple pretzel recipe online. And, preparing my ingredients, I was ready to get started!
I dissolved the yeast in hot water and then added the butter, brown sugar, and flour. The recipe calls for using a mixer with a bread hook attachment to mix the ingredients. But, we’re not fancy here, so I made due with a wooden spoon for mixing.
Tip: remove all rings before you start hand kneading the dough or you will have a hard to clean mess on your hands!
After mixing all ingredients, cover the dough and let it rise for about 20 minutes. During this time, I recommend heating your pot of water for the baking soda bath. Compared to other bread that needs a lot of time for the dough to rise, this was reasonable. By the time I cleaned up some of my mess (including the dough stuck in my ring), the mixture was ready for the next step.
I kneaded the dough a bit more and divided it into equal parts. Then, I rolled out a length to form into a pretzel shape and immediately forgot what a pretzel looked like, so I watched a YouTube video to learn how to twist the dough into the proper form. I made four pretzel shapes, and the rest I cut unto bite-sized pieces.
Next cam the baking soda bath, which was probably the most fun. The baking soda bath is what gives pretzels their pretzeliness. It gives the pretzels their brown crust and their flavor, so it is a crucial step. I popped them in the water for about 30 seconds before moving them to the baking sheet.
In the oven at 450° Fahrenheit for about 11 minutes, and they looked perfect coming out! I brushed them with some melted butter and added salt, and they were just divine! The perfect snack and exactly what I needed to make me smile.
Do you have a simple recipe you can make in your home kitchen? Tell us in the comments!