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Soft Pretzels

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour , about 4 1/2 cups
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter , melted
  • Vegetable oil , for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel or margarita salt

Instruction

  1. Combine the water, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Switch to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then grease the bowl well. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for about 50 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and generously brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
  3. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Recipe Notes

I would spray the parchment with a spray pan coating before putting the boiled pretzels on the sheet pan. The first few times I used this recipe, I was peeling parchment for days, before it occurred to me to spray the paper first. I haven't had a problem since.