Monday 9 March 2015

Homemade "Mall-style" Pretzels

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • ⅓ cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • Asiago variation: add ½ cup Asiago cheese and ½ cup jalapenos

  1. To make the pretzels: Place the milk in a small saucepan; stir and heat until milk is about 110 degrees. Pour warmed milk into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon. Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften; stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1¼ cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  2. Heat the oven to 450 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper Punch down the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Evenly divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.
  3. In a large bowl, dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution (this will happen to brown the pretzels), then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt (or sprinkle on cheese and place jalapenos on top). Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.


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