Homemade Pretzels

October has been one gross and sweaty month; thanks Tennessee, I guess we are skipping Fall this year.  Even though last week’s temps creeped towards 90°F with 92% humidity, we can still crank up the a/c, put on a turtleneck and make Fall food!  These homemade pretzels will knock the socks off of anyone’s Oktoberfest party.  Covered in salt, or cinnamon sugar, or “everything” toppings; they are crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside with just the right touch of salty and sweet.   In case you missed it I mentioned in my last post that I am pregnant. Two things are saving my advanced maternity aged ass during this pregnancy; this pretzel reheated in a toaster oven at 5:30 am every day to curb my morning sickness and Instacart.

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Back to pretzel making.  The recipe is slightly time consuming, yet still pretty easy; I would say the most difficult part is figuring out how to create the actual pretzel shape.  Once you have that down, everything else falls into place.  It begins with mixing warm water with yeast and brown sugar.  Set it aside to let the yeast activate for 5 minutes – until it’s good and foamy.

that’s good foam!

Next, measure 3 cups of flour into a stand mixer’s bowl.  With the dough hook attachment, turn the mixer onto low and gradually begin pouring in the yeast mixture into the flour.  Turn the mixer up to medium speed until the dough comes together and forms a shaggy ball.

it will be shaggy and tacky

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.  Flour your hands too as the dough will be slightly tacky.  Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until it feels smooth and elastic.  If it still feels tacky, sprinkle a little more flour onto it.

perfect!

Drizzle some oil into the mixer bowl and wipe out the excess with a paper towel.  Place the dough in the oiled bowl, cover with a towel and set aside to rise for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.

now we wait…

Save your floured board, as you will be using it again after the dough has risen.

doubled!

Preheat the oven to 415°F and prep your baking soda water.  Place the dough back onto the floured work surface you saved (smartie!) and cut it into 8 pieces.  Cut each of the 8 pieces into two pieces and roll 15-18″ snakes (that’s what my 2 y.o. calls them.  He likes to “help” with this part.)  To form the pretzel, take the ends of your snake and cross them over each other, like this:

step one: single cross

And then cross again:

step two: double crossies

Then flip the ends up and over the cross so they are resting on the circle you created:

fin.

Easy peasy!  Continue this process until you have formed 16(ish) pretzels.   Next step, boil the pretzels one or two at a time in the baking soda water for 20-30 seconds, taking care to flip them a few times in the water.  Let the pretzels drain and dry on a kitchen towel for about 10 minutes.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place your pretzels on top of the parchment.  Brush the pretzels with egg wash and coat with desired toppings.  For “everything” topping, combine equal parts dried onions, poppy seeds, black and white sesame seeds and kosher salt.

gimme The Works!

Bake at 415°F for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.

best of both!

Freeze in ziplock bags for up to 2 weeks.  To thaw, place in a toaster oven for about 4-5 minutes or a regular oven at 200°F for 10 minutes.

pretzel perfection!

Homemade Pretzels
Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Dough rise time: 1 hour
boil time: 20 seconds (per pretzel)
bake time: 10-12 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/8 cups warm water (like 90°F warm)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 cups water for boiling
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • coarse salt for sprinkling
  • everything topping (1 tablespoon each: kosher salt, poppy seeds, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, and dried onion)

Method:

  1. Mix together 1 1/8 cups warm water, brown sugar and yeast.  Let it stand for 5-10 minutes, until frothy bubbles form.
  2. Measure 3 cups of flour into stand mixer’s bowl.  Using the dough hook, turn the mixer onto low and gradually pour the yeast mixture into the bowl.  Turn the machine up to a medium speed until the dough comes together and is completely formed into a ball.  Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the mixer bowl and wipe out the excess with a paper towel.  Place the dough in the oiled bowl, cover with a towel and set aside to rise for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Place dough onto a floured surface and divide into 8 balls, then divide each of the 8 balls into 2, leaving 16 pieces total.  Form ropes and make pretzel shapes.  Cover pretzels and allow to rise again for 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 415°F.  Bring 8 cups of water and 1/2 a cup of baking soda to a boil.  Boil the pretzels one or two at a time in the baking soda water for 20-30 seconds, taking care to flip them a few times in the water.  Let the pretzels drain and dry on a kitchen towel for about 10 minutes.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pretzels on top of the parchment.  Brush the pretzels with egg wash and coat with desired toppings.
  7. Bake at 415°F for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.
  8. Freeze in ziplock bags for up to 2 weeks.  To thaw, place in a toaster oven for about 4-5 minutes or a regular oven at 200°F for 10 minutes.

***disclaimer: Instacart did not pay me to endorse them, I truly think it’s a wonderful service.  If you use the coupon code to get $10 off, so do I.***

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