I wasn’t originally planning on blogging about these. I made them the other night to have alongside soup for dinner, and when I pulled them out of the oven I snapped a quick picture (am I the only one who compulsively takes insane amounts of pictures of food??). When I posted the picture on my personal Facebook page, I got several requests for the recipe, so I figured I may as well write a quick post about them!
It took me just a few minutes to make the dough in the late afternoon, and then I boiled and baked them just before we ate so they’d be nice and hot when I served them. I definitely see myself making these often — they were soft and chewy, the kids loved them, and they were so much better than the frozen ones I used to buy years ago!
Soft Pretzel Twists
3/4 cup warm water (110-115°F)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus up to an additional 1/2 cup for kneading)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1) Combine water and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2) Add the flour, salt and melted margarine and knead, using the dough hook, for 5 minutes. Add more flour if necessary, a little at a time, until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
3) Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat, and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour.
4) Preheat oven to 450°F.
5) Once the dough has risen, separate it into 4 to 8 sections (4 for larger pretzels, 8 for smaller pretzels). Using your hands, floured if necessary, roll each section into a 24-inch (for large pretzels) or 12-inch (for smaller pretzels) strand, and shape into a pretzel knot. Transfer each pretzel to a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment and sprayed with cooking spray.
6) Bring the water and baking soda to a boil, and drop in the pretzels, one at a time, boiling for around 30 seconds each. Remove with a slotted spatula and transfer to a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with the sea salt.
7) Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.
Makes 4 large or 8 small pretzels
Note: Don’t do what I did and bake the pretzels on parchment paper. Even though it was sprayed with cooking spray, the pretzels still stuck to the parchment. Bake them directly on a sprayed baking sheet.
* Adapted from Peas and Thank You, by Sarah Matheny