There’s no two ways about it – I am a pretzel addict. I love pretzels and in my days of working as a flight attendant, would plan my layovers so that I’d have time to hit up one of the soft pretzel stands at the airport! So it came as a wonderful surprise when I tasted this recipe and realized that I like these pretzels BETTER than any I’d had before!
Salty and surprisingly light, these little guys are equally delicious served plain, with mustard or topped with a little melted cheese. They’re at their best when still warm, but can be served cooled as well.
1 1/2 c warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 pkg active dry yeast
4 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 oz unsalted butter, melted
vegetable oil, for pan
10 c water
2/3 c baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp water
extra kosher or pretzel salt
1. Combine the water, sugar, & kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter.
2. Using dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Knead dough until its smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl. 4-5 minutes. Remove from bowl and place in a metal or glass bowl slightly oiled with vegetable oil. Cover and let sit in a warm place for about an hour or until dough has doubled in size.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchament paper and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside.
4. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a roiling boil in a large saucepan.
5. In the meantime, turn dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into about 16 twenty-four inch ropes. (if you want to make regular shaped pretzels at this point: make a U shape with the rope, holding ends of rope, cross them over each other and press into the bottom of the U.) Or you can cut the ropes into 2 inch nuggets.
6. As you work place the nuggets or pretzels on your parchament baking sheet and (for the regular pretzels, place 1 by 1 into the boiling water for about 30 seconds) for the nuggets, I placed about a whole rope’s worth in the water at the same time. 30 seconds, remove from water with a large slotted spatula and return to one of your baking sheets.
7. Brush the top of each pretzel or nugget with your egg wash mixture and sprinkle with salt. (Cinnamon sugar is good too!!) Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12-14 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes prior to serving.