I just found the perfect snack to make on a cold, snowy day. You're welcome. The other night I had yet another hormonal dream (sometimes I have a hard time telling apart reality from these crazy dreams I have) and this one involved me being a spy and having to break into some lady's office (her name started with an O). Since my weirdo dream took place in a mall, Aunt Anne's Pretzels were on scene. Needless to say, when I awoke in the real world I was craving soft pretzels. Thank goodness it was my day off so the experimenting commenced.
The only kind of soft pretzels I've ever made before this were the Auntie Anne's boxed kind. I have to say those are pretty legit if you can get your hands on them (I usually just don't feel like spending the money). But trust me, these pretzels are just as easy to make!
My craving called for just a plain salted pretzel but I decided to make a few cinnamon and sugar ones as well. Store your pretzels in an airtight container for 2-3 days and they also freeze well. Let me know if you try them or have any questions!
1 hour 15 minutes
1 hour 22 minutes
8-12 (depending on the width)
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp table salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
3 1/2 - 4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp baking soda
8 Tbsp melted butter
optional toppings: coarse sea salt, cinnamon and sugar mixture (more sugar than cinnamon), garlic salt and parmesan cheese, etc.
1. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water; stir until dissolved.
2. Add salt and sugar to water/yeast mixture. Slowly add flour (3 cups to start), one cup at a time. If dough is still sticky add more flour, half a cup at a time. Knead dough with the dough hook of an electric mixer until smooth and elastic. Place dough into a lightly greased bowl (be sure to grease the top of the dough so the plastic wrap does not stick) and cover tightly. Let rise for at least half an hour.
3. Towards the end of rising, mix together 2 cups warm water with baking soda. Stir often until ready to use.
4. After dough has risen, punch dough down and divide into eight - twelve even clumps.
5. Roll out each clump as long and thin as possible. It may seem as if you are rolling them too thin but trust me, they will bulk up. Mine were about a quarter of an inch to half an inch thick and they came out quite thick. Next, form each rope into a pretzel shape: 1) make the rope into a U shape, 2) bring down and cross both ends, braiding it if you'd like or simply cross it once, 3) press the ends into the bottom of the pretzel to close it.
6. Dip each pretzel into baking soda/water solution and place on a greased baking sheet.
7. Lightly grease the tops of the pretzels and cover the tray. Let rise for another 30 minutes.
8. Preheat oven to 425°.
9. Bake pretzels for 7-11 minutes or until golden brown.
10. Brush the tops of the pretzels with melted butter and sprinkle on coarse sea salt or other optional toppings.