Monday, August 3, 2015

Soft Baked Pretzels

This weekend I had a serious craving for those jumbo salted soft pretzels that you get at events. After doing some pretzel research online, I came together with the best recipe that mimics the taste of those, but made them 1/3 the size so I don't feel as guilty eating 3 :-O 

The coating for the pretzel is essential for getting that nice golden brown crispy exterior and super soft center. The science behind this baking soda coating is that a chemical reaction {ie. Maillard reaction} occurs, which allows the exterior crust to become a golden brown color. The baking soda reaction is also responsible for the unique taste of the pretzel. Without this bath, the pretzels would taste more like a bread and would not be as golden brown and delicious {GBD.} We can thank old world Germans for this, except they used sodium hydroxide to coat their brezels {pretzels}! 
Soft Baked Pretzels~ The Dreams Weaver
What you will need: 
 4 tsp. active dry yeast 
1 tsp. white sugar 
1 ¼ cups warm water
 5 cups all-purpose flour 
½ cup white sugar 
1 ½ tsp. salt 1 tbsp. vegetable oil 
Pretzel Coating
½ cup baking soda 
4 cups hot water 
¼ cup kosher salt, for topping 
Soft Baked Pretzels~ The Dreams Weaver
In the bowl of your stand mixer, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 ¼ cup warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Then add the oil to the yeast mixture. 

Soft Baked Pretzels~ The Dreams Weaver

In a large bowl, mix together flour, ½ cup sugar, and salt. With the stand mixer set with the beater attachment, add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture cup by cup with the mixer on low speed. Once all of the flour mixture has been incorporated in, switch to the dough hook. Let the mixer run the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. 

Soft Baked Pretzels~ The Dreams Weaver

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 

Soft Baked Pretzels~ The Dreams Weaver

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water; set aside. 

Soft Baked Pretzels~ The Dreams Weaver

When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda-hot water solution and place pretzels on baking sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt or even cinnamon sugar! 

Soft Baked Pretzels~ The Dreams Weaver

Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 8 minutes. 

Soft Baked Pretzels~ The Dreams Weaver

Enjoy! 
Soft Baked Pretzels~ The Dreams Weaver
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