How To Make Soft Pretzels
Unless you’re buying or making pretzels fresh from the baker, their quality can often times be hit or miss. You know what we’re talking about—the hard as a rock pretzel syndrome. If they’re already old or not the best quality, sitting for a second too long can mean your soft pretzel has turned into a hard, chewy mess that takes the fun out of it for everyone-especially your teeth. But there’s no need to suffer through bad pretzels when you can always eat them the way pastry chefs intended: warm, soft and covered in salt. By far one of the easiest pastry recipes, soft pretzels use basic ingredients like flour, active yeast, sugar, butter and eggs to create a truly unique bread. If you own a standing mixer, it does most of the work for you. Seriously, folks! It doesn’t get much easier than this.
This ancient Eastern European recipe originally created by German monks has now become a popular American favorite-especially during baseball season. Learn how to make it alongside our online pastry school chef in this instructional cooking video!
1 cup water
½ cup milk
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
22 ounces all- purpose flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
2 ounces melted unsalted butter
8 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons pretzel salt
1. Warm the first amount of water and the milk to about 110 degrees and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit for a few minutes until the yeast is softened.
2. Add the flour, brown sugar, salt and melted butter and knead until smooth for about a few minutes.
3. Place in an oiled bowl to proof until the dough doubles in size.
4. Make the egg wash by mixing 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water.
5. Bring the 8 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil in a sauce pan or roasting pan. Turn the dough onto a floured or oiled surface and Divide in 8 pieces. Roll each piece to about 24 inches long and form the classic pretzel shape by making a U and the twisting and crossing the ends.
6. Place the pretzels in the boiling water for about 30 seconds, remove and place on a lined baking pan. Egg wash, sprinkle with salt and bake at 450 degrees until dark golden brown in color, about 12 minutes.
7. Cool for about 5 minutes and serve warm with mustard or desired dipping sauce.
Note: the dough may not need the total amount of flour, hold back a few tablespoons at the end and add if the dough is too sticky.