I have made soft pretzels so many times, for so many years and I realized, though I always share photos with you I have never shared my recipe with you! How RUDE of me? These remind my husband of home (Jersey) and my dad of home (Philly) and I enjoy making them a batch every chance I get. I know what is like to miss the flavors and people of home so I do what I can! Oh, in fact I have a great photo of the 2 of them enjoying some last Father's Day!! See these mustard lovin' guys? I call them my "easties"!
Mustard is the topping of choice in our family although I like to make cinnamon and sugar ones that we dip in caramel sauce or cream cheese icing! Ack! You can see in the photo some are topped with kosher salt and some are not, those are the sweet ones. You can also see the pretzel dog bites on the top!
I hope that you enjoy these soft pretzels, they are not hard, just a little time consuming, nah, not even all that time consuming, just make them, you won't regret it! This is a really basic recipe, I have made just a few changes to.
1 1/2 cups water (110 degrees)
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 packet of yeast
2 tbsp melted butter
4 1/2 cups flour
7 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda
Cinnamon Sugar (1 tbsp cinnamon+1/4 cup graulated sugar)
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in water, sugar, salt and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let it sit for 5 minutes and become foaming on top before you continue. Fit your mixer with the dough hook! Add in melted butter and flour and let it go for 4-6 minutes. The dough should be nice and uniform in color and texture, it will have cleaned off the entire bowl of all flour and liquid like this....
Turn out into a bowl that has been coated in oil or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and let sit for 1 hour in a warm place. The dough should double in size. It will look like this...
In a large, wide pot or a roasting pan, fill with water and baking soda and begin bringing this to a boil. Preheat oven to 450. Get 2 cookie sheets ready by laying them with parchment paper and spraying with nonstick spray on top of that, then, set aside.
At this point you will turn the dough out unto a floured surface. You have couple of options. Well I am sure you have way more options than that, I just used these 2 options!
1. Divide into 12 pieces, roll into a snake and shape into a U shape. Take the ends at the top of each side of the U, criss cross them downward and smoosh into the bottom part of the U. (I now realize I should have double twisted the crisscross, sue me) Making a pretzel shape. Do this with all 12 pieces. OR
2. Using all beef hot dogs or little smokies, take a small ball of dough 1 inch in diameter and flatten it out. Lay a piece of all beef hot dog or 1 little smokie in the center and wrap the dough around, sealing on the bottom.
3. Do half and half!! teehee
Now wait for your water to boil, and carefully place 1 pretzel at a time in for 30-40 seconds, then use a spatula/flipper to take them out. If they are sturdy enough you can use tongs. Lay them on your sprayed parchment lined cookie sheets. If you are doing the hot dog bites, do the same thing.
Now using 1 egg beaten with a splash of milk, brush the tops and sides of the pretzels/bites with it. Then sprinkle on kosher salt or a mixture of cinnamon and sugar for a sweet pretzel.
Pretzels 10-12 minutes
Bites 7-10 minutes.
Now as I said before, in my family we dip the savory in mustard or cheese. We dip the sweet in caramel or cream cheese icing and of course we eat the bites with cheese or ketchup. You do what you like, just make sure you try one of each! It is what a GOOD chef would do! :)
Your "soft pretzels make me sweat" chefwannabe