The weekend was quickly approaching, and I was already thinking of what to make for breakfast. Weekend breakfast for me has become the new Sunday night dinner. At the very least, I like to experiment with different breads and pastries. Ok, so I was really cleaning out my epicurious online recipe box (I’ve saved 300+ recipes), saw the pic of sweet pretzels, and remembered that I wanted to make them.
So, it may be a little challenging to build a breakfast around sweet pretzels when you just ran out of eggs and bacon, and the sausage is long gone. Though this was going to be a simple little nosh of sweet pretzels with coffee and tea. To make it a little fancy, I decided to add a little blueberry compote, which I made with the last of the frozen blueberries from the freezer.
The dough is basically all-purpose master sweet dough from bon appetit. I’m pretty sure I’ve used it before when making cinnamon rolls, but I can’t remember. The recipe called for pearl sugar, which I had, but it was the larger pearls that I typically use when making liege waffles. I simply crushed them with the back of a knife, and put it through a fine strainer until I was left with smaller pearls. For the remaining fine sugar, I just added it to my coffee!
Back to the sweet pretzels. They were super yum! They were light and sweet, and tasted great with the blueberry compote. My son was very skeptical as he’s not a fan of blueberries, but was quickly won over. The only problem I had with the sweet pretzels was the color. It seems that my oven was running warm, and needed to be recalibrated. I quickly remedied that, and now I’m ready to make another batch.
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 5 tablespoons sugar (divided)
- 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature, plus 1/2 tablespoon, melted
- 1 large egg white
- 6 tablespoons pearl sugar
make the dough:
Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°–115°F. Transfer milk to a 2-cup measuring cup; stir in 1 Tbsp. sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs; whisk until smooth.
Combine remaining 4 Tbsp. sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. (If making Vanilla Cloverleaf Sweet Rolls, scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. If making Apricot-Anise Tarts, add aniseed.) Add milk mixture. With mixer running, add 1/2 cup room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Knead on medium-high speed until dough is soft and silky, about 5 minutes.
Brush a medium bowl with some melted butter; place dough in bowl. Brush top of dough with remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic; chill.
Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 1–1 1/2 hours (or 2–2 1/2 hours if dough has been refrigerated).
shape and bake the pretzels:
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Punch down dough; divide into 12 equal pieces.
Working with 1 piece at a time and keeping remaining dough covered with a kitchen towel, roll dough on a lightly floured surface into a 17-inch- long rope. Form rope into a U shape. Lift top of left end; fold over or under opposite side; press together gently about two-thirds down from the top of right side. Lift right end up, fold over, and press in or tuck under, forming a pretzel shape. Repeat with remaining dough. Divide pretzels between sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until slightly puffed but not doubled in size, 30–45 minutes.
Meanwhile, arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 375°. Beat egg white and 2 tsp. warm water in a small bowl. Brush each pretzel all over with egg wash, then sprinkle each with 1/2 Tbsp. pearl sugar.
Bake for 10 minutes; rotate baking sheets and continue baking until pretzels are golden, 6–8 minutes longer. Let pretzels cool on a wire rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature.