Friday, April 4, 2014

These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty!

"These pretzels are making me thirsty!"  - Everyone that matters on Seinfeld

Let's get to it. My dear friend LP was at dinner with me last month and suggested I try to make these. So, here we are! Thanks LP for the inspiration!

WAIT, I forgot something…. remember, time = glasses of wine while I cook. (Disclaimer: I drink cheap wine, so sometime in the future, sure, I could possibly critique Trader Joe's vino, but no where in the near future).

I don't have recipes in my head just ready to be shown to the world! Yep, my trusty google is my BFF and the first recipe to pop up was a soft pretzel by Alton Brown.

SOLD! He is the and knows what he is talking about. Good Eats! is my favorite show on Food Network, ever. Hashtag bringbackgoodeatstoprimetime anyone? I tend to go off on a tangent, click that link above to make these the right way...

Let's make some pretzels. I changed one thing about this recipe because I read the first 10-15 comments about the recipe to see if something worked better for the layman like myself. So always read the comments if you want to know what people really think of it! Please laugh with me at these comments. See what I did differently below:

Here's the ingredients & recipe:

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water (hot to the touch)

1 tablespoon sugar (Totally important food for the yeast)

2 teaspoons kosher salt - this is where I deviated from the recipe: I put the salt in with the flour and butter.

1 package active dry yeast

22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups - this amount worked perfectly

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted 

Vegetable oil, for pan and bowl (approx 4 tbsp)

10 cups water

2/3 cup baking soda

1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water (pretty spot on)

Pretzel salt, soooooo I am using Kosher Salt because, well, I just am, okay? I couldn't find it at the 


Please, this isn't that boring. Wake up! Realize your worth that you are able to make pretzels from scratch and they aren't just frozen and hung in a spinning hot box waiting for you after a serious dip in the pool. (IDEA: I need to make slushies!)

Please follow the directions except for the salt part. Cause these are DEELISH.

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.  (this is really really obvious, you can see it foaming) Add the flour and butter (read the directions, i almost put in non-melted butter) and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. (these two speeds are totally accurate)

Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl (i just wiped out with a paper towel) and then oil it well with vegetable oil (2 tsp). Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes (I left for about 1:15 because life happens and I had to fold laundry) or until the dough has doubled in size.
 During this step, I drank a glass of your favorite vino.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper (this is very important!) and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving. 

 See the difference after an hour? It's awesome. Yeast (in cooking) is awesome.

 Cut in 8 sections. Pretzel pizza anyone???

After rolling into a snake,

Whip it into this. I can't actually tell you how, just roll and twist into a pretzel. Trust, you will be able to do this. :)

THEN: this is soooooo important. Boil in the bubbly baking soda and water for 30 seconds.. I set a timer. Really, 30 seconds that is IT. Its so the most important thing ever in the world for your pretzels.

DO IT NOW. But, one at a time. You will see that they stick together. 

They are still uncooked, but are shaped. :-)

 Well, well, well…. after spreading salt and a bit of egg yolk (per directions….)

These beauties are the end result!

When I told J that I was making pretzels, he stopped for 2 kinds of mustard. Clutch. One sweet (for me), one spicy (for him). Huh, fitting for our opposite personalities. ;-)

SUCCESS! Challenge accepted! Challenge accomplished.

What's your challenge for me? Joey just said Challah…..holla, ain't no stopping me, copy written, so, don't copy me! (yeah, I said it!) Challenge….Accepted!