I love surprising Jackson with food. I don’t know if he enjoys it as much as I do but whatever, I’m not stopping. He’s very used to me deciding on a whim “I must make *insert random recipe here* and I must make it NAO!”. This particular impulsive need came from stumbling upon a simple homemade soft pretzel recipe on the interwebs.
I had an urge to make something different.. something delicious, salty, amazing. I decided to try my hand(s) at making pretzels at home. I was pumped. I kept it a secret from Jackson until I started twisting the pretzel shape… what I was making suddenly became obvious… my cover was blown.
We live in a box with one wall so the kitchen is the lounge room which is also the office, guest room and dining room which means no cooking secrets.
There was no where to hide my pretzel twisting activities but he was very surprised none the less with un baked raw pretzel dough. I could only imagine how happy we would both be when the (cooked) pretzels came out of the oven, golden brown and warm with big Maldon sea salt flakes a top and 2 lrg cans of German beer, plz thx.
The process itself was quite straight forward and although there was 1 hr+ of rising time for the dough (45 minutes at the start and another 30 odd once twisted), I managed to cook another recipe and fluff about whilst waiting. I did have to pay careful attention to the recipe but I followed t to a T and it couldn’t have worked out better!
Mix warm water, sugar and yeast in a glass and set aside for 5 minutes to foam. When foamy pour into a well and mix into a dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until dough is silky (about 8 minutes – see pictures above). Let dough sit in warm spot for 45 minutes to rise. Break dough into 8 separate pieces and twist pretzels. Lay pretzels on a baking tray and set aside to rise for another 30 minutes. Drop the pretzels into boiling water with some baking soda for 3-4 minutes, flipping once and them remove back to a lightly oiled baking tray. Glaze, season and in the oven. See not too bad!
I religiously followed Joy the Baker’s “How to make soft pretzels” which I have featured below. The recipe works out a charm, and as she says…
Flour, yeast, sugar, salt and water. That’s all you need to make pretzels.
Oh! Time… You’ll need some time too.
The pretzel shape making was a little fiddly to master at first but with a small amount of patience I was creating a pretty decent pretzel shape. I followed this video which has a really simple folding instructions.
I don’t know how traditional pickles technically are but they were invited to this pretzel party because pickles are delicious. Hand up if you’re in the pickle club? *furiously waves hands*
There was nothing better then pulling these big salty warm crunchy-on-the-outside and soft-in-the-inside pretzels out of the oven, sharing them with Jackson with themed condiments and reminiscing on our time doing the exact same thing on the other side of the world.
Have you made pretzels or any other exciting adventures lately? Tell me in the comments below.. I could honestly chat about food all day!
Have a wonderful day, Bec xxx
Homemade Soft Pretzels
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 7gm package active dry yeast (2 & 1/2 teaspoons)
- 3 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons sea salt seasoning and sesame seeds
- 1 & 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 heaped tablespoons baking soda add it to the boiling water just before throwing in the pretzel dough!
- Stir together sugar, yeast, and 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (105 to 110°F) in a glass measuring cup, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
- Whisk together 3 & 1/2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon table salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Dust work surface with 1 tablespoon flour, then turn out dough and knead, gradually dusting with just enough additional flour to make a smooth sticky dough, about 8 minutes. (Dough needs to be somewhat sticky to facilitate rolling and forming into pretzels).
- Return dough to bowl and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. Using your palms, roll 1 piece back and forth on a clean dry work surface into a rope about 24 inches long. If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust them with flour. Twist dough into a pretzel shape. (Dough will retract as you form the pretzel.)
- Transfer pretzel with your hands to an oiled baking sheet and form 7 more pretzels in same manner with remaining dough, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart.
- Let pretzels stand, uncovered, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 220 deg cel/425°F.
- Bring a wide large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add heaping tablespoon of baking soda. The baking soda will help the pretzels brown.
- Using both hands, carefully add 2 (maybe 3) pretzels, 1 at a time, to boiling water and cook, turning over once with tongs, until pretzels are puffed and shape is set, about 3 minutes. Transfer parboiled pretzels to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining 5 pretzels in 2 batches.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper and oil paper, then arrange pretzels on sheet. Brush pretzels lightly with some of egg and sprinkle with pretzel salt and/or sesame seeds.
- Bake until golden brown and lightly crusted, about 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes, then serve warm.
Pretzels are best the day they are made. (When they are kept overnight, salt may dissolve.)
You can also roll the dough into balls and make pretzel rolls aka bretzels!