New Year, New Recipe! Soft Pretzels!

Out with the old, in with the new! Ben bought me a 50-, yes – FIFTY, pound bag of bread flour I surprise myself actually. I never thought I’d be baking anything that didn’t come from a box by Duncan Hines. So after dozens and dozens of pan de sal, I thought why not move on to making other things.

I’ve made French Bread but wish I’ve taken better photos. They turned out okay for my first attempt and would definitely make them again. I do have a gazillion pounds more flour for baking.

I’ve also attempted to make pretzels. The photo below was my first attempt.  Personally, I like them plain and dipped in condensed milk (yes, it’s just as bad as it sounds.), Ben likes them salted. My pretzels were awesome! So awesome, I’ll share the recipe with you.

Bonjour, bretzels! (that’s french for pretzels)

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 tsps (1 package) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
4 cups bread flour
2 cups water
2 tablespoons baking soda
coarse salt

(2-4 tablespoons melted butter, optional)

  1. Sprinkle yeast on 1 1.2 cups warm water and stir to dissolve.
  2. Add the sugar, salt. Stir to dissolve.
  3. Add flour, more if it’s too wet, knead dough until smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in an lightly oiled bowl, cover in plastic wrap, and let rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
  5. While the dough is rising, combine 2 cups of warm water with baking soda to prepare a water bath. Stir often.
  6. When the dough has risen, divide into 4 parts and roll each into a long rope and shape into pretzels. Let it rise some more.
  7. Dip the pretzels in the baking soda water bath and place your pretzels in non-stick greased baking sheet. (I used non-stick parchment paper over my baking sheet, the bottom of my pretzels were stuck the first try.)
  8. If you want salted pretzels, about 1 tablespoon (or less) of coarse salt over your pretzels before baking.
  9. Bake in a preheated (450 F) for about 10 minutes or until golden.
  10. If you want, brush with melted butter. (or just cut a slab and let it melt.)
  11. EAT! make sure you don’t burn your tongue/mouth though.

If you want cinnamon pretzels,

  1. Melt a stick of butter in a shallow bowl (but big enough to fit a pretzel).
  2. In another shallow bowl combine cinnamon and sugar.
  3. Dip pretzel in butter and then dip it in the cinnamon sugar bowl.
  4. EAT! make sure you don’t burn your tongue/mouth though.

Here’s a fun “fact”, while people tend to think that soft pretzels (and pretzels in general) are of Bavarian origin, they are believe to have originated in a small monastery in southern France. A priest used them to reward kids for saying their prayers properly.

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