One of my New Year's Resolutions is to make a food product each month. So for January while my sister-in-law was visiting we decided to tackle pretzels. She had made them before, but I never had. We ended up trying two different pretzel recipes to try and get it right! The first ones we made didn't use yeast (because I didn't have any on hand) and they ended up tasting more like biscuits than pretzels. It was a good learning attempt on how to roll and make the pretzels, but we knew we wanted to tackle it again.
So a few days later we went out, got some yeast, and tried again. This time we were far more successful using Allrecipe's Buttery Soft Pretzels. Oddly enough the recipe doesn't use butter, but I guess that can be a technicality.
Gather the ingredients:
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
3/4 cup warm water (~110 degrees F)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/8 cup kosher salt for topping
Makes 6 pretzels
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in 3/4 cup warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a reusable napkin or towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat to 450, grease baking sheets.
When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 equal pieces.
Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. This will be the most difficult part. I found it helpful to act like you are folding it in half, then switch the ends as you bring it back to the center. Don't worry, they taste the same even if they don't look perfect.
Some thoughts: I would make sure that the water is really hot. The original recipe has you dissolve the baking soda into the hot water and then form the pretzels. This made our water not be very warm and it didn't harden the outsides as much as I would have liked.
These were yummy, and I think with tweak I suggested they will be amazing. But if you have a perfect pretzel recipe let me know!