How to Make Soft and Delicious Pretzels at Home
A Pretzel Challenge
As the fall season approaches, I'm excited to start baking again. Last year, I made many of my favorite holiday treats, and my family loved them all. This year, I have a few new ideas—including pretzels. I'd never made pretzels before, but I knew I was up for a challenge.
Preparing the Dough
To make pretzels, all you need are some basic ingredients, including flour, yeast, milk, salt, brown sugar, and some butter. When I prepared the dough for the first time, I noticed there was a similarity between bread dough and pretzel dough. For example, when making pretzel dough, you must begin by preparing a yeast mixture. For this recipe, I recommend using an active dry yeast because it worked tremendously well for me. However, you are welcome to use instant yeast, instead. I also decided to use a stand mixer to get the ideal doughy texture.
By the way, since this was my first attempt at making pretzels, I decided to make a small batch. Nevertheless, you are welcome to double the recipe if you are baking for a crowd.
Plain vs. Toppings
I love pretzels that have a simple topping. You can decide if you'd like to make pretzels that are plain or have toppings. It's easy to make both kinds at once, however, which is exactly what I did.
All you have to do is to divide the recipe into two batches. When I took the finished pretzels out of the oven, I brushed the top with melted butter and dipped a few into a cinnamon brown sugar mixture. The others I simply left plain.
You can easily save plain pretzels in a freezer bag, which will allow you to have warm pretzels again whenever you want! Reheat the pretzels in the oven for 1-2 minutes before enjoying them again.
My Experience Making Pretzels
My experience is that it takes a bit of practice to get the best result. Making the recipe does require a bit of time, so I'd recommend following the instructions to achieve the best result. I enjoyed every bit of this process. This could be a great family activity at home with the kids! I will certainly be making this recipe again soon.
- 1 cup whole warm milk
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar (or light)
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus up to additional 1/2 cup as needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 3 cups warm water
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Cinnamon and brown sugar mixture for topping (or any other flavor you want)
- Pour the warm milk along with yeast into the stand mixer bowl and whisk together until the yeast has dissolved. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Combine brown sugar, butter, flour, and salt to the yeast mixture and mix until blended.
- Combine the remaining flour and knead mixture on medium speed until elastic and forms a dough.
- Transfer the dough into a bowl, cover with a cling wrap and let it rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet or parchment paper on a baking tray. Poke the dough to release any air pockets.
- Divide dough into equal-sized balls and cover loosely with plastic wrap or cloth.
- Roll each ball into a long, thin rope about 32 inches long. Form a dough rope into a pretzel shape (refer to the photo below).
- In a large bowl, whisk together baking soda and warm water. Set aside.
- Take the pretzel and soak into the baking soda water mixture for a few seconds, lift and allow excess water to drip off.
- Place the pretzel onto the baking tray, and reshape as needed. Repeat the process with remaining dough until finished.
- Bake pretzels for 11-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush the top with melted butter and honey mixture.
- Sprinkle pretzels with cinnamon and brown sugar mixture.
- Repeat the same process all pretzels.
- Enjoy the pretzels while they are warm. Yummy!
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© 2019 Liza