Pretzels are one of those snacks that are generally liked, but are quickly overlooked for something better. Even a cracker is more exciting than a pretzel. Well, now remove your store bought crunchy pretzels and bring in the soft fresh baked pretzels. You may have had one at the mall, but hopefully you have been lucky enough to try one at a restaurant with some great dipping sauce or at a festival with a beer. Now that is a pretzel worth going out of your way for.
With that type of pretzel in mind I scored the internet until I found a recipe that looked like what I wanted. As it turns out pretzels are pretty easy to make! It may seem like there are a lot of steps, but all of the steps are pretty easy and just look at the simple ingredients list. You do need yeast, but what a great excuse to make some bread after...or more pretzels! For something that is mostly just white flour and water, they are amazingly tasty....and what texture! I decided to make these savory, but you could also sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar.
Rosemary and Sea Salt Soft Pretzel BitesAdapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
How I Did It:
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp melted butter, slightly cooled
3 1/2 - 4 cups all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup baking soda
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and stir for about 3 minutes. Add sugar and stir until combined (some clumps may remain). Let it sit for 10 minutes.
2. Add salt and melted butter and stir to combine.
3. Add 1 cup of flour at a time until you have added 3 cups, mixing each addition with a large wooden spoon. Add 1/8 cup of flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticky and springs back when touched.
4. Preheat oven to 200.
5. Flour a surface and kneed the dough for about 5 minutes.
5. Turn off the oven.
6. Shape dough into a ball and place into a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl and place in the oven (with the heat off) for 10 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and preheat the oven to 450. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.
8. Cut the dough into 8 sections and roll each section out into long ropes that are about 1 inch thick. Cut the ropes into 1 1/2 inch sections.
9. While you are cutting your dough, boil 9 cups of water with 1/2 cup of baking soda (be careful if you put the baking soda in after the water is already heated up).
10. Drop about 10 pretzels at a time into the boiling baking soda water and let sit for 20 - 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on prepared baking sheets. They don't need much room, just make sure they don't touch.
11. Once all of the dough balls have received their baking soda water bath, brush with them each with the beaten egg and then sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary.
12. Bake for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool a bit and enjoy! They are great warm, but are good cold the next day too.