As I mentioned recently, I love cooking a few tasty treats on football days (especially when I can't make it to watch the game in person). Fall is in the air - and this Saturday, the smell of fresh baked pretzels was in my kitchen.
This recipe requires a few steps and a little patience, but every step is super easy.
Here's what you'll need...
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
10 cups of water
1/2 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
poppy seeds, sesame seeds or coarse salt
Here's what to do...
1. Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add the butter and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. About 4 - 5 minutes.
3. Spray clean bowl with cooking spray, add the dough, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size. About 1 hour. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on flat surface. Use a pizza cutter or knife to divide the dough into equal pieces (I had about 18).
5. Roll the dough into a long thin rope and form classic pretzel shape (or pretzel bites by cutting the rope into 1 each pieces).
6. Bring the ten cups of water to a boil in a large pot and add the baking soda. Boil the pretzels in the water solution in batches (2 at a time for large pretzels and 10 at a time for pretzel bites) for about 30 seconds.
7. Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzels on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure they are not touching. Brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash.
8. Sprinkle various toppings on each pretzel (sesame seeds, poppy seeds or coarse salt).
Place into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to a baking rack and let cool for about 5 minutes before eating. Serve with cheese sauce or mustard (although they are also awesome plain). I bet they would also be killer with some cinnamon sugar - I'll have to remember to leave some plain for next time!