After having the most amazing time at Oktoberfest I was all inspired to learn how to make my own soft pretzels which was on my Foodie Bucket List. I did some research and watched this video by Crouton Crackerjacks which was very revealing. My friends Shayna and The Happy Whisk also helped me with some tips so I came up with my own version.
This recipe makes six super soft and delicious pretzels. I will eventually learn how to make the harder and crispier kind but OMG, these were so good… And! Not hard to make. I made them completely by hand.
The special “sauce” is in putting the baking soda in the oven at 250F for an hour. This helps it respond more like lye without having to use lye!
You will need: 1 cup milk, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp instant dry yeast, 2 tbsp softened butter, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup bread flour + plus more for bringing together, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup hot water, 1 1/2 tbsp baking soda (bake in a 250F oven for an hour ahead of time) 2 tbsp melted butter and 1 tbsp coarse salt or “everything” mix.
Warm up milk until just above body temperature. Add sugar and yeast. Stir and let sit 10 minutes.
Making The Dough
In a large bowl add salt, softened butter and 1 cup bread flour.
Stir in yeast mixture to make batter. It does not need to be smooth.
Add all purpose purpose flour and mix.
Once it comes together knead on a floured surface for a couple of minutes.
My dough was wet so I added more bread flour.
Put in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled.
Shaping The Pretzels
Once dough has risen turn onto work surface and cut into 6 equal portions.
Heat water to a near boil and add to a small bowl. Whisk in baking soda to dissolve. Set aside.
Roll into a very long rope.
Shape into pretzel shape. Note, The Happy Whisk recommends tucking the ends underneath which I think I will do next time.
Baking Soda Bath
To give the pretzels that signature texture you can give them a quick baking soda bath. Submerge one at a time into baking soda solution for 10-15 seconds.
Now you can just use coarse salt but I used this seasoning blend I got at Trader Joe’s to give them that “everything” flavour.
Lightly brush with melted butter and add salt/seasoning.
Bake in a preheated 450F oven for 9-11 minutes.
Until golden brown.
Brush with more melted butter and put on cooling tray.
Damn delicious! Seriously, I was in heaven eating these and loved every bite, every pretzel.
Next time I might add some of the baking soda into the bench flour when rolling out my dough like The Happy Whisk did. Perhaps they will be more crunchy that way but wow… These were so delicious. Next time I would still use the everything seasoning but I would add more coarse salt.
Woohoo! Another item off my bucket list and what an absolutely yummy treat. These did not take that long to make and I made everything by hand myself. If I can make these, you can make these! And I highly recommend that you do so.