September 29, 2009

TMM: Soft Pretzels

Proofing, stretching, twisting and boiling. Needless to say this was a bit of a fussy recipe; but it was a fun project, with terrific results.

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Continue Reading EBcO September: Pretzels

Pretzels! [or Nicole successfully uses yeast]

I may be the pie queen, but I have not had success in the past with yeast. At one point, it decided it didn't like me and refused to rise. (Have you ever had unleavened pizza crust - not tasty.) So I had decided I would just avoid yeast and therefore avoid this problem. Thankfully, Christina posted these recipes and I had to tackle a leavened bread item. As it turns out, yeast and I are now on speaking terms again. In fact, we might be on our way to becoming BFF's.

I credit this success to Christina, and also Alton Brown for writing a good recipe. Anyway, I made Alton's recipe, but dipped the pretzels in the soda water from the Auntie Anne's recipe, instead of boiling. Then I brushed them with the egg yolk, and sprinkled some with fleur de sel, some with sel de provence and some with raw sugar. I also left 2 unsprinkled. As you can see, they rose and browned well. Husband tried the sea salt version, I tried the salt de provence. We were both pleased - great texture and flavor. I just wish I had finished baking them before 10:50 last night, so I could have eaten one fresh out of the oven! Guess I will just have to make them again!

September 9, 2009

September Recipe: Soft Pretzles

Here are two recipes for you to try - you can do both or one or the other. I watched the episode of Alton Brown's pretzles and have had this Auntie Ann's recipe looming in my recipe box for a while. Be creative, add in herbs to make savory pretzels or develop a genius dipping sauce. This will be the base and you get to provide the creativity.

I will post this recipe to my blog on the 25th and will close the link on the 27th. Please email me with questions!

Homemade Soft Pretzels - Alton Brown


  • 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
  • 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
  • Pretzel salt


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 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.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, 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.

Auntie Ann's Pretzels

1 1/2 cup warm water

1 1/8 tsp. active yeast (1 1/2 pkg)

2 Tbs. brown sugar

1 1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup bread flour

3 cups regular flour

2 cups warm water

2 Tbs. baking soda

To taste coarse salt

2−4 Tbs. butter (melted)

Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add

sugar, salt, and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth

and elastic. Let rise at least 1/2 hour.

While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm

water and 2 Tbs. baking soda. Be certain to stir often.

After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope

(about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape. Dip pretzel into soda solution

and place on greased baking sheet. Allow pretzel to rise again. Bake in a

450 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until golden. Brush with melted

butter and enjoy!


After you brush with butter try sprinkling with coarse salt.

Or for Auntie Anne's famous cinnamon sugar, try melting a stick of butter

in a shallow bowl( big enough to fit the entire pretzel) and in another

bowl, make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. dip the pretzel into the

butter, coating both sides generously. then dip again into the cinnamon