Yesterday I made homemade soft pretzels, the recipe is courtesy of the blog “Girl Versus Dough” which is really what it felt like.
First I started by pouring 1 1/2 cup of warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer, then I added 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes. Remember, active dry yeast this part is very important, I learned that from Alton Brown the ultimate in food science.
While writing this post and looking at the weird foaming liquid I thought to myself, “I wonder if anyone looks at the pictures and totally freaks out like I do because my product doesn’t look exactly like the picture”. Guess what, this is my first time making pretzels. I know that your dough may not look exactly like mine but I had no clue what I was doing so it probably shouldn’t.
Now use a wooden spoon ( Yes, it must be wooden) or the dough hook attachment on your kitchen aid and stir in 4 cups of flour on LOW speed, trust me high speed with flour in the bowl is not good. Now add in 4 tablespoons of melted butter and 2 teaspoons of salt and mix until the dough forms.
Now transfer the dough onto a well floured surface and knead by hand for 10 to 15 minutes adding an additional 1/2 cup of flour, or if you are lazy (like me) use the dough hook attachment and knead the dough on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball (more or less) and place into a lightly greased bowl, cover it with a tea towel and let it double in size for one hour.
Shape the dough into about 8 even (again, more or less) balls and roll each ball into a log.
Shape your pretzels how ever you like (wacky shaped pretzels are my favorite) and fill a pot full of boiling water and 2/3 cup of baking soda and dip them for 30 seconds at a time.
Again don’t worry if your pretzels look like they just came out of a sci-fi movie, so do mine.
Bake your pretzels (again wacky shapes are highly encouraged) at 450 degrees on a baking sheet lined with sprayed parchment paper for 12 to 14 minutes.
Brush them with melted butter and sprinkle with salt while warm and enjoy the maybe less than adorable pretzels!