A few weeks ago I went to Weber Grill for a baby shower and they had the most amazing pretzel bread. My love affair with pretzel bread started a loooong time ago, but it was just recently that I have felt brave enough to try bread. You see, I have a long history of lost bread battles.
I once had a recipe for dinner rolls but they turned out more like hockey pucks. Not so yummy...For whatever reason, homemade bread has not been my friend. But, after much thought, amazing reviews online, and one too many delicious pretzel rolls, I decided to try out Alton Brown's recipe for homemade soft pretzels.
This recipe is SO worth it! Actually, it's pretty easy too. There are a few weird (to me, the novice breadmaker) steps, so I tried to photograph many of the steps to share with you. I hope they help! Like I said before, this recipe is far simpler than it seems at first and is a great way to begin making bread.
I also decided to forgo using all of the dough for traditional looking pretzels. Plus, I got bored with rolling and twisting. So, half of the dough was used to make pretzels and the other half was used to make rolls.
These are so perfect that I will definitely be making them again. Next time, though, I think that I am going to top them with cinnamon and sugar instead of the finishing salt - YUM!
Homemade Soft Pretzels
1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt (I just used Kosher salt from my salt grinder and it was perfect!)
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top.
Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.
Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place (I used the warming drawer on my oven set on LOW) for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-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. *(This is where you can either make pretzel shapes or rolls...your choice!)
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, one at a time, for 30 seconds.
Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt.
Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving
Sweet Mustard Dipping Sauce
1/2 C. Dijon Mustard
1/4 C. Maple Syrup
1 T. Brown Sugar
In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Enjoy with Homemade Soft Pretzels!