Sometimes I just want to run over to the mall and get a soft, doughy, delicious, soft pretzel, especially when it’s a week like this one… BUSY.
And while that is the easy way out, I take pride in knowing I can make the same thing at home. Especially when it’s as good as this!
I tried a lot of soft pretzel dough recipes and this one of my favourites [here]. Pretzel dough recipes aren’t the type of thing I can make up on my own. I did change this one a bit and how you want to flavour and shape it is completely up to you.
First let me say that this is the nicest dough recipe ever! It’s soft and pillowy and I just want to sleep on it [but not actually… but actually]. You’ll see what I mean when you make it, it’s just the most perfect looking and feeling dough.
First off, let the yeast rise, dissolved in a bowl of sugar and water. Once “alive”, combine in a large bowl with flour and salt, stir with spoon to form a shaggy ball. Next, knead the dough on a well floured surface until soft and springy and pillowy and amazing [about 6-8 minutes – incorporating another ½ cup of flour as you go]. Let it rise in a greased bowl with a tea towel over top for about an hour.
Take your risen dough out the bowl and form a circle, cut into 16 wedges [sort of like a pizza, it makes it easier to have even pieces].
Form the wedges into long ropes and then into the familiar pretzel shape. It helps to start by shaping the wedge into a rope, stop, start the next one, and go back to it to finish shaping the rope [tip with pictures from here!].
Let them rise for 30 minutes, in this time I make the mustard dip and store in fridge, preheat the oven and get the water/baking soda pot boiling.
SO…HOW does one get it to taste like pretzels? Well you have to boil it! In a large pot of boiling water with a ¼ cup baking soda – for about 90 seconds (45 seconds a side). This does something to the pH of the dough, I’m sure you could google it if you cared enough.
After boiling, let them drain a bit and brush with an egg/water mixture and top with sea salt.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or until golden brown.
Time 2-3 hours
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- ½ sea salt
- 2 cups AP flour + ½ cup more
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 egg + 1 tbsp of water
- ¼ cup mayo
- ¼ cup dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp finely chopped sweet or yellow onion
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- 2 tsp of creamy horseradish
- freshly ground pepper
- Combine water yeast and sugar in a small bowl, dissolve and wait 5 minutes for yeast to “puff up”.
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of AP flour and salt.
- Once yeast is puffed up, pour into bowl of flour and salt and stir with spoon to form shaggy ball.
- Dump out onto well floured surface. Knead for 6-8 mins – until soft and springy and pillowy. Incorporate at least ½ cup of additional flour as you go.
- Let it rise 1 hour in greased bowl with tea towel over top.
- After an hour it should have doubled in size, place back onto counter in the form of a circle, next cut into 16 wedges.
- Shape each wedge into a rope. It helps to partially shape, let it rest by starting another then going back to it. Lastly, twist into that famous pretzel shape.
- Place onto well greased pan, wait 30-45 mins to rise [at 20-30 mins start the baking soda and water bath – see # 10 – and preheat the oven].
- During this 30 minute wait, prepare the mustard dip by combining everything together in a bowl, cover and store in fridge until it is time to serve. The dip is better if it has time to chill.
- Boil a large pot of water with the baking soda and preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Boil each pretzel for 45 seconds a side [flip them in the water, start with wrong side up to make it easier to take out].
- Drain on a wire rack for approx 3 minutes.
- Brush with the egg/water mixture and top with sea salt.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
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