I received this issue of Martha Stewart Magazine in the mail the other day and couldn’t wait to make this recipe*…..and when I get a hankering for something tasty, it generally doesn’t go away…so I thought “Hey, it should be a fun baking session with my girls!”
My husband has made soft pretzels a handful of times and they’re always so delicious as a snack or with a delicious sausage & sauerkraut dinner…SO, that is what we had last night! I thought I’d share this recipe…..and I hope you enjoy the process of making soft pretzels as much as we did and of course, eating them!
*This recipe for homemade chewy pretzels comes from Sigmund Pretzelshop owner Lina Kulchinsky.
- Warm water (about 110 degrees)
- 2 (1/4-ounce) packages rapid-rise yeast*
- 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar, divided
- 6 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour*
- 4 tablespoons coarse salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces, plus more for serving
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup pale ale-style beer*
- Pretzel salt
- Toppings: poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cheddar cheese, and Gruyere cheese
- Mustard, for serving
*I primarily use baking ingredients from http://www.kingarthurflour.com/ because they’re amazing! So for this recipe I substituted the bread flour for a high gluten flour, (perfect for chewy breads like bagels and pretzels) called Sir Lancelot flour. http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/high-gluten-flour-3-lb
*I also use regular yeast which I keep in the freezer and measured 2.25 tblspns per package of rapid rise yeast required per this recipe for a total of 4.5 tblspns.
*I used a beer I already had in the house thanks to my husband….which was a Samuel Adams Winter Lager beer 🙂
In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups warm water, yeast, and 1/2 cup brown sugar; let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together flour and coarse salt using your hands. Add butter and continue to mix with your hands until mixture is crumbly. Add yeast mixture and, using your hands, mix until a shaggy dough is formed and water is absorbed.
Using the dough hook attachment, mix dough on medium speed until dough is tight, elastic, and smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator; let chill at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Roll dough out into a 14-by-12-inch rectangle. Cut dough into one dozen 12-inch-long strips, each about 1-inch wide.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out each piece into a 30- to 33-inch-long rope (about 3/4-inch thick), starting from the center and working toward the ends. Make a “U” shape with the rope and cross the ends over, pinching at the bottom of the “U” to form a pretzel. Return to baking sheet and repeat process with remaining dough.
Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a large saucepan, combine 8 cups water, baking soda, beer, and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer pretzels, one at a time, about 30 seconds, holding them under the surface of the water, if necessary, using a spider or slotted spatula. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and repeat process with remaining pretzels.
8. Sprinkle pretzels with pretzel salt and desired toppings; transfer to oven and bake for 5 minutes. Rotate baking sheet, and bake until deep brown, 4 to 6 minutes more. Remove from baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm with butter or mustard.
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