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I know, I know... I'm actually posting my Tasty Tuesday recipe on a Tuesday. That almost never happens anymore. I had a party at my house last night. Needless to say, I was cleaning and organizing right up until the first person arrived (and oh does it feel good to throw things away!), and the last person didn't leave until almost 11. I wasn't exactly up to posting then!
This recipe isn't actually from last night, however - although I do have a few pretty good ones! Instead, I made this one on Sunday when a friend's two children came over to play with mine for five hours. A kitchen diversion was definitely in order!
And fortunately, they loved them. I did, too. I will never again be able to eat a pretzel from a movie theater or baseball stadium again. And they were super easy, too!
Homemade Soft Pretzels
1 1/2 c water (not too hot but definitely warm)
1 T sugar
1 t salt
2 1/2 t yeast
4 1/2 c flour
4 T butter (or in my case to keep it dairy free - Earth Balance)
2/3 c baking soda
1 egg yolk
pretzel salt (ok, so I ground sea salt because this wasn't planned ahead enough, and it worked fine)
Combine water and sugar in a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Add 2 c flour and mix until well combined. Add the salt and melted (but not hot!) butter and mix again. Add the remaining flour and mix on low. Once it's all incorporated, change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
Cover the bowl with a damp towel, and let it rise for about an hour - you want it to double in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
I used two jelly roll pans lined with sil pats. While they weren't *stuck* stuck on, they didn't release easily. I would recommend brushing your sil pats with oil to ensure no sticking. If you use parchment paper instead of sil pats, definitely brush them with oil.
Use a large heavy soup type pan and fill about 2/3 full of water. Add the 2/3 c baking soda to the water, and then bring the water to a boil.
While the water is heating, divide into 8-12 equal pieces (we did 8, and they were massively large, so next time we're making smaller pretzels). Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope and then shape them.
Part of the fun of doing this with kids was letting them shape them as they wanted to - we had a couple hearts, some circles, and some very interesting looking pretzels. To do a traditional pretzel shape, make a U with the rope, then cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel.
Place each pretzel onto your baking sheet as you finish it. Once they're all done, place the pretzels into the boiling water one at a time for 30 seconds (I flipped mine partway through, and that seemed to work well). Remove them from the water using a a spider and put them back on the baking sheet.
Beat an egg yolk with 1 T of water, then 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.
Enjoy! They were still good the next morning, but I don't know how long they will really keep (I wouldn't guess much longer than that) because they were all gone by then! Check out this and more with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Blessed With Grace!