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Friday, October 01, 2021

my kitchen: EASY HOMEMADE SOFT BAKED PRETZELS




Hi guys! I've been on a baking roll lately, looking for easy recipes and posting my favorite ones here for the next time. If you're impatient like me, we don't have the time to wait around for pretzels to rise for overnight or even a few hours. You want to be able to bake it, make it and eat it. I wanted to pick the least intimidating recipe for my first time making pretzels and I can attest that this pretzel recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction was spot on! Check out her video to see how she twists and turns the pretzel if it's your first time making pretzels. 

And the best part, the pretzel recipe only needs 10 minutes to rest!

I used to be really afraid of the step where you have to boil the pretzel in boiling water, but actually it wasn't that bad at all. The pretzels are at a size where they are manageable to take in and out and you can drop the heat so the water is hot but not boiling like crazy. Try this recipe!! There's nothing like fresh baked pretzels!!!! 

PS if you don't want to make pretzels, Auntie Anne's is finally in Taipei. and there's a place called TuuGuud in Tianmu that I've been meaning to try. Those are the main two places I can think of right now that have soft baked pretzels in Taipei, especially since the time I had one was at Beer and Cheese which closed years ago. They had good pretzels. 


EASY HOMEMADE SOFT BAKED PRETZELS
(thanks Sally's Baking Addiction) 

INGREDIENTS

PRETZELS 
- 1.5 cups (360ml) warm water (lukewarm– no need to take temperature but around 100°F (38°C) is great)
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (7ginstant or active dry yeast (NOTE: My instant yeast packets that I bought in Taipei were 3g each, I just used 2 packets for 6g and the pretzels turned out ok)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon brown sugar or granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and slightly cool
- 3 and 3/4-4 cups (469-500g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and work surface
coarse salt or coarse sea salt for sprinkling

BAKING SODA BATH
1/2 cup (120g) baking soda
9 cups (2,160ml) water

1. Whisk the yeast into warm water. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Whisk in 1 teaspoon salt,  1 Tablespoon brown sugar, and 1 Tablespoon melted butter. 

2. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon (or dough hook attached to stand mixer) until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more, as needed. Poke the dough with your finger – if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.

3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 3 minutes and shape into a ball. Cover lightly with a towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. (Meanwhile, prep the water + baking soda boiling as instructed in step 6.)


4. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Silicone baking mats are highly recommended over parchment paper. If using parchment paper, lightly spray with nonstick spray or grease with butter. Set aside. (NOTE: So I didn't line my cookie tray with parchment paper and the baking soda water discolored it. So I recommend still lining your baking tray with something)

5. With a sharp knife, cut dough into 12-16 slices. I recommend cutting in 4 pieces, then cutting each quarter into thirds or four. If you want bigger mall sized pretzels, then cut into thirds and roll the dough into 20-22 inch long ropes.



6. Take one slice and roll the dough into a long rope on a floured surface. The longer it is, the thinner it will be. I went for shorter, thicker pretzels. 

7. Take one end of the rope and cross it with the other end and twist the ends once, then lift the twisted side to cross the rounded side and press down for the pretzel shape. Don't worry if it's not perfect, it will look fine after it's baked. 



7. Bring baking soda and 9 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Drop 1-2 pretzels into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Any more than that and your pretzels will have a metallic taste. Using a slotted spatula, lift the pretzel out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place pretzel onto prepared baking sheet.



8. Sprinkle each with coarse sea salt. (NOTE: I didn't have coarse sea salt. so I used some flaky salt I had on hand. Where to find coarse salt in Taipei????) Repeat with remaining pretzels. 



9. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Congrats! You just made pretzels!! Enjoy one (or three) warm, even better with with cheese sauce or cinnamon sugar butter. 




Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels: Skip the coarse salt topping. Bake as directed in step 7. Meanwhile, melt 4 Tablespoons (60g) of butter. Brush the baked and warm pretzels with melted butter then dip the tops into a mix of cinnamon and sugar. Start with 3/4 cup (150g) of granulated sugar and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Cinnamon sugar pretzels are best served that day because due to the melted butter topping, they become soggy after a few hours.

:)