I’m a Babe again! Soft Pretzels- Salt or Sweet


 I know, my pretzels don’t look as good as they should or could but I had great fun baking them which on the other hand probably is the reason to why the look so bad and sad. You see, we had a Bread Baking Babe baking hangout on Google+ the other night, baking pretzels live between different continents, and never has it been so fun to bake a BBB challenge. I was planning to bake them again yesterday or today but I’m not feeling too well so that didn’t happen. Fortunately I had two left so I could photograph them for you. I’m a bit short here, I haven’t even converted cups and other measures but I am sure you are perfectly able to do that on your own for once. I need a bed.

Soft Pretzels-5

It is the wonderful Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms who has decided what to bake this month and she made a great choice, they are easy to make and very easy to eat so get baking and be a Bread Baking Buddy, you get the details over at Elle’s when she has woken up and posted about the pretzels!  I know that some Babes have made sweet one while I stuck the the salt version so check here to get the links to the BBBs.

Soft Pretzels

Soft Pretzels
Found at MyRecipes: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/soft-pretzels
 YIELD: 12 servings (serving size: 1 pretzel)

1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (about 14 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
6 cups water
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cornmeal
1 teaspoon water
1 large egg
2 teaspoons kosher salt

 Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large bowl, and let stand for 5 minutes.

 Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 3 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes). Add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky).

 Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 40 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.

 Preheat oven to 425°.

 Divide dough into 12 equal portions. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll each portion into an 18-inch-long rope with tapered ends. Cross one end of rope over the other to form a circle, leaving about 4 inches at end of each rope.

 Twist the rope at the base of the circle. Fold the ends over the circle and into a traditional pretzel shape, pinching gently to seal. Place pretzels on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 10 minutes (pretzels will rise only slightly).

 Combine 6 cups water and baking soda in a nonaluminum Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer. Gently lower 1 pretzel into simmering water mixture; cook 15 seconds. Turn pretzel with a slotted spatula; cook an additional 15 seconds. Transfer pretzel to a wire rack coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining pretzels.

 Place pretzels on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Combine 1 teaspoon water and egg in a small bowl, stirring with a fork until smooth.

 Brush a thin layer of egg mixture over pretzels; sprinkle with kosher salt.

 Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until pretzels are deep golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

To make Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels: When you put on the egg glaze in the above recipe, don’t add any toppings. When the pretzels are baked and still a little warm, dip them in melted butter and then into a cinnamon-sugar mixture. from Cooking Light OCTOBER 2005

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