Way back in my stay at home mom days, Finn and I got hooked on an obscure kids program called Hi-5. In a moment of apparent nostalgia, Finn requested it this morning, and I was all too happy to pull out the old DVDs. At some point during some episode there was a reference to soft pretzels, and I couldn't get it out of my head. And that's how Finn and I ended up making soft pretzels this chilly day. And, oh my goodness, if someone had told me years ago how easy it was to make AMAZING soft pretzels at home, I would have jumped on that bandwagon long ago.
So here you go. Whether you are stuck inside or just can't get the idea of a soft pretzel out of your head now, I hope you enjoy these as much as we did.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Makes 10-12 large pretzels
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 packet active yeast (2 1/5 tsp.)
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
3-5 cups flour (I used half white, half whole wheat)
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg, beaten
coarse sea salt for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a large soup pot, bring 9 cups of water and 2/3 cup of baking soda to a boil.
- Dissolve yeast in warm water in bowl of stand mixer. Stir with a spoon until fairly mixed. Add salt and sugar. Stir until fairly combined.
- Attach dough hook and turn mixer on low. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix on low until dough is thick. Add additional dough (up to one cup) until dough is no longer sticky.
- Turn up mixer and knead with dough hook for 3-5 minutes, until it forms a soft, supple ball.
- Turn the dough onto the counter. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into chunks, about 1/3 cup each (bigger than a golf ball, smaller than a tennis ball).
- Roll each chunk into a rope with an even diameter. Once you have a long rope, take the ends and twist them together, then bring them to the middle. Press firmly.
- Using a slotted spoon, dunk each pretzel, one by one, into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate. Once cool enough to handle, dip into beaten egg (both sides). Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Repeat for each pretzel.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Turn oven to broil and bake for 5 more minutes to brown the tops. Watch closely to avoid burning.