Homemade Soft Pretzels

I have two soft pretzel recipes I’d like to experiment with. This is the first.

This is Alton Brown’s recipe…and while I normally think his recipes are divine (even if he is a bit neurotic) this one is just “okay” in my eyes. DH agrees and says it’s amazing.

The key, I think, is I like a sweeter pretzel dough. This one is more yeasty, than sweet — and I think it’s because this recipe calls for white sugar. My other pretzel recipe calls for brown — hopefully I can post it soon and update you on the sweetness of the dough!


Homemade Soft Pretzels
(Original by Alton Brown)
Makes 8 Pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees) 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 salt (can use kosher salt!)

Directions
– Combine water, sugar, and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast on top and allow to sit for 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to foam.
– Add the flour and butter, and, using the dough hook attachment on your mixer, mix on low speed until well combined.
– Change to medium speed and knead the dough with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl (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 50-55 minutes, or until dough has doubled in size.

– Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 sheet pants with parchment paper and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside.

– Bring the 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 each piece of dough into a 24-inch long rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, and cross them over each other. Press into the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel.
– Place onto parchment-lined sheet pan.

– 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 sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg and water mixture and sprinkle with pretzel salt (I left salt off half my pretzels and made them cinnamon-sugar ones once they had baked)

– Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes.
– Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

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