Nate and I have a new addiction. Homemade pretzels.
I had no clue you could make pretzels at home. The things you learn in the ripe old age of 30.
I also learned how to use the broil feature on our oven for the first time last week. I blame 8 years of college for making me miss out on learning these amazing life features.
Our recent reader survey also said that recipes were your least favorite posts. I
give my readers what they want post what I want.
These pretzels are so good that you are going to be begging for recipes from me. Seriously.
Homemade Soft Pretzels
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown. (Side note: I fell asleep to Alton Brown for about 2 years straight. Nate had a slight addiction to ol’ Alton. Man knows his pretzels.)
Yields: 8 pretzels. (We use half of the dough for the two of us.)
- 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
- 10 cups water
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- Butter (melted) for brushing (~1-2 tablespoons)
- Optional: Kosher salt for cheese dipping pretzels or cinnamon/sugar for sweet pretzels.
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Mmm, foam.
Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and place into greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.
Sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. We turn on our fireplace and shut the office door. Instant sauna. I suggest napping during this step. Mmm, napping.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. (I bold this step because I always forget it.)
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
In the meantime, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope.
To make the traditional pretzel shape: Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel.
To make the pretzel bites: Slice the rope into ~1 inch pieces.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds.
Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Drain the best you can. Place on a baking sheet.
To make pretzels for cheese dipping: Brush the top of each pretzel with the melted butter and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 10 – 12 minutes. Brush with remaining melted butter before serving. Serve warm.
Cheese sauce recipe:
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (Shred your own for better taste/consistency!)
- Kosher salt
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.
- Slowly whisk in the milk until no lumps of flour remain. Stirring constantly, bring the milk to a simmer over medium-low heat until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the shredded cheese until all of the cheese has melted.
To make pretzels for cinnamon/sugar: Brush the top of each pretzel with the melted butter. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 10 – 12 minutes. Dip into melted butter and then into cinnamon/sugar mixture. Serve warm.
Enjoy! We found that the pretzels weren’t very good later in the day so enjoy them quickly!
Are you a pretzel fan? Did you know you could make them at home or did you think they were only a mall specialty? Did you know you could bake brownies without a box mix? Yeah, learned that one recently too. Life’s miracles.