Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels

The weather this weekend is what we've been waiting for.  Everyone had an extra skip in their step. There were more smiles around town & it was just a great time to be living in Hoboken. We picked up some bourbon molasses mustard by one of my fave brands Stonewall Kitchen.  The girl at checkout agreed that it looked good & asked what we were going to eat it with.  I hadn't thought about it but I knew I needed it in my fridge.

After some lunch & strolling Chris & I visited the Pilsener Haus & Biergarten (aka the beer garden in Hoboken). They have the best & biggest pretzels I've ever had & seen.  If I hadn't eaten lunch just before I'm certain I would have devoured one all by myself. When I got home I was still thinking about them. And then a light went off. I could eat my new mustard with some soft pretzels.  So I decided to make my own for the love of my mustard of course.

I found this easy soft pretzel recipe on Williams-Sonoma's blog. The recipe calls for 7 ingredients. One of which is water so that doesn't really count. The 5 of the 6 other recipes you probably already have in your pantry if you've ever baked something or cooked in your life.  The one thing that you may have to remember to buy is the active yeast - which comes in an easy little packet in the baking aisle of your grocery store, so pick up a few on your next trip. 

If you don't want to make this incredibly easy dough I'm pretty certain you could use store bought pizza dough and use the same method of making them.

Ingredients for Williams-Sonoma Soft Pretzels:
  • 1 cup  warm water (110 degrees F/43 degrees C)
  • 1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 3 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) baking soda (The baking soda added to the boiling water makes a massive difference in these pretzels. It’s what helps them turn gorgeous and brown, so don’t skip it.)
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling (I only had fine sea salt but it worked just fine)
  • Grainy mustard for serving (optional)

Make it!
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the warm water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the 3 tablespoons oil, the flour, and kosher salt.
  3. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough on medium-low speed until smooth, about 10 minutes.
  4. Form the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and brush the parchment with oil.
  6. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, then cut it into 12 equal pieces.
  7. Roll each piece into a long rope about 18 inches (45 cm.) long.
  8. With each rope positioned horizontally, bring the 2 ends up and toward the center as if forming an oval, cross one end over the other, and press each end into the bottom of the oval to create a pretzel shape.
  9. Place the pretzels on the prepared pan, spacing them evenly.
  10. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  11. Fill a large, wide saucepan with 7 cups  water, stir in the baking soda, and bring to a boil.
  12. Gently drop 2 or 3 pretzels at a time into the boiling water (be careful not to overcrowd them).
  13. Boil for just under 1 minute, turning once with a large slotted spoon or spatula.
  14. Return the boiled pretzels to the baking sheet, top side up.
  15. Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt.
  16. Bake until beautifully browned, about 10 minutes, rotating the pans about halfway through. Serve warm with big spoonfuls of grainy mustard. Makes 12 pretzels.

1 comment:

  1. I just love pretzels but have never tried making my own before. Those look super.