A few months ago, I never in a million years would have believed that I’d be comfortable making recipes that involve yeast. I rarely tried it, thought it was scary, and spent my time mastering any and every shortcut around it instead. I figured that when I get married and finallyhopefullymaybe get a stand mixer, I could use the dough hook and give it a try. Well, like always I get impatient waiting to try this the easy way, give them a try and end up surprising myself.
It really started when I made these Cinnamon Rolls. I was with my Mother-in-law (to be) and she makes yeasted bread all the time. She helped me knead the dough and make me feel like it was something I could actually conquer. Then those rolls ended up being amazing, and I made them 3 more times in two weeks, (giving me a chance to practice on my own.) Since then, I’ve been a little bit obsessed with seeing if it’s something I can actually do! I made this pie, this bread and now these pretzels. All delicious, all pretty incredibly easy. (Who knew?)
The impulse to make these delicious pretzels came when Maria posted about them a few weeks ago. I loved her variation and the Alton Brown recipe she had adapted looked so easy. The method was similar to the bagels I had made earlier, but with yeasted dough and of course the signature twist. The recipe called for pretzel salt which I didn’t have, so I adapted the toppings a bit to my liking. I chose to sprinkle flaky sea salt on a few of them, a cinnamon sugar mixture on some, and garlic and parmesan on the rest. I loved each flavor a lot, but I’m such a salt-a-holic, the salty one was probably my fave.
I am already getting excited for football season to start in the fall, (Go Packers!) and these would make an amazing game day treat. I love having friends over to watch the games and a batch of these with a variety of dipping sauces sounds pretty incredible! I also think I’ll try another variation of this recipe and maybe make these into pretzel bites. *I’m anxious to make these again so I can master my pretzel twist- I know these could be cuter:)
- 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)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Vegetable oil, for pan
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- 10 cups of water (for boiling)
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Sea Salt, Cinnamon Sugar, Parmesan Cheese or other toppings of choice
- Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter, and either using the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer or just a wooden spoon, mix until all ingredients are well combined.
- If using a stand mixer- change to medium speed and knead, or turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth- approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. (I love warming my oven to about 200 degrees F and then turning it off- perfect warm place.)
- Once the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
- Bring about 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
- In the meantime, 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 (the only way I could stretch this dough out was to hold it between two hands and literally pull it. See what method works best for you!)
- Make a U-shape with the dough, 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.
- Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for about 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 toppings of choice.
- Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool slightly before digging in. Enjoy!
Recipe barely adapted from: Alton Brown