Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Big Chewy Soft Pretzel Recipe



SOFT PRETZELS

1 (.25 ounce) package or 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 ½ cups warm water
4 cups flour (bread flour or all purpose)

2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Melted butter
Coarse salt and or Cinnamon


In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your kitchen aid mixer, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in the 1 ½ cups of warm water. Add the flour to the mixture and mix until smooth and elastic. This can be kneaded by hand on a floured surface, about 8 minutes. Or, the easiest method, using your mixer with the dough hook attachment – about 8 minutes as well. The mixture will be smooth and stick slightly to the bottom of the bowl. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. If using the dough immediately, cover, and let rise for one hour. If you plan to make the pretzels later store the dough in the refrigerator – covered well. I have kept it in the refrigerator up to one day. When using refrigerated dough take it out at least 1 ½ hours prior.

Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in a large shallow pan.

After the dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces for large pretzels (I normally cut the dough into 24 pieces for smaller pretzels). Roll each piece into a rope, a little thicker than a pencil – some flour is needed on the rolling surface. Twist into a pretzel shape, and then dip into the baking soda solution. Place on cookie sheets covered in parchment paper or prepared with non stick cooking spray. Note – if making salted pretzels sprinkle them with salt at this time. Let rise 15 to 20 minutes.

Bake at 425 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. If you have made salted pretzels brush the tops with melted butter. If you have chosen to make the awesome and delicious cinnamon pretzels dip the entire pretzel in the melted butter – top and bottom. Then, toss the buttered pretzel in a bowl of cinnamon sugar. Let cool on a wire rack.

Note – when forming the pretzels it helps to keep the dough balls covered with a towel – it will keep them from drying out. If the dough does start to dry out before you have formed the pretzels – lightly moisten your hands with water.

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