Saturday, December 15, 2007
An Ode To Carbs...Homemade Pretzels
I am the first to admit that my pretzels really do not look like your traditional soft pretzel. Maybe a pretzel-goldfish is more accurate? Well, what can I say, I'm a little challenged in the pretzel-forming arena! In any case, I was pretty pleased with the way these "pretzels" turned out. Right out of the oven, they were especially soft and slightly chewy, and the sprinkling of coarse sea salt gave these a really nice flavor. I thought about baking these for Christmas gifts but discovered that to truly experience the deliciousness of it all, the lucky recipient really ought to receive the pretzels soon after baking. I'm talking maybe an hour or so after coming out of the oven. If that's not possible though and you'd still like to give someone these homemade pretzels, then just remember to tell them that a quick zap in the microwave ought to do the trick (I discovered this even a couple days after baking--the pretzel actually did become soft and chewy again). I cannot even remember where I found this recipe but I had it in my recipe file and recall making them once before. If you give this a try, let me know what you think and maybe someone out there can give me some tips on pretzel shaping? Enjoy!
Soft Baked Pretzels
1 package dry yeast
1 and 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 cups AP flour (I used unbleached)
1 beaten egg
Coarse sea salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water; add sugar and flour and mix. Dough will be soft but not sticky. Add a little more flour if it is too sticky. Let dough rise for 30 minutes.
2. Cut dough into 12 pieces. Roll pieces of dough into 16-inch ropes. To make pretzels, curve ends of each rope to make a circle; cross ends at top, twist ends once and lay down over bottom of circle (or, be like me and shape them like goldfish)!
3. Spray cookie sheet with baking spray and arrange pretzels on sheet. Brush on egg and sprinkle with coarse salt if you'd like.
4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden in color.