One of the things I can hardly resist is those freshly baked soft pretzels they sell at the mall! I think they must have a fan that purposely blows out that tempting, delicious aroma of the baking pretzels! There’s usually a long line of people and the pretzel makers are working as quickly as they can to try to keep up with the demand.
Here is a soft pretzel recipe that rivals those delicious mall pretzels!
1 pkg. yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups unbleached flour
In a mixing bowl combine the yeast, brown sugar and 1 1/2 c. warm water. Allow the yeast to dissolve and become bubbly. Then add the flour and salt. Stir well with a wooden spoon until the flour is fully incorporated.
Pour the dough out onto a surface sprinkled with flour and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Put the dough into a greased bowl and cover with a cloth. Allow to rise about 45 minutes. You will know the dough is ready if you stick your finger down into it and your finger print remains.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each into a thin, long rope. Each rope should be about 24″ long.
Twist into a pretzel shape like this:
Place onto parchment lined baking sheets (that have been sprayed with non-stick spray) and allow the pretzels to sit for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, into a shallow pan or skillet, measure 4 cups water and 1/4 c. baking soda. Bring to a boil.
Carefully slide the twisted pretzel into the baking soda “bath” and wait about 15 seconds. (I spoon the hot liquid over the top of the pretzel.)
Use a spatula to remove the pretzels from the “soda bath” and set onto a clean kitchen towel or paper towel to absorb the excess liquid. (I do one or two at a time.)
Return the pretzels to the parchment lined baking sheet and lightly brush each with egg wash (1 beaten egg yolk + 1 t. water) and sprinkle with some coarse salt.
Turn on the oven to heat to 450°. Set the pretzels aside to rest while the oven is heating.
Bake for about 8 minutes or until golden. (By the way, your house will smell amazing!)
If desired, you can brush them with melted butter.