everything soft pretzels

of all the things we’re making for the super bowl, i think i’m looking forward to these the most.incorporating my favorite part of a bagel, the everythings, with a chewy & tender dough, they’re perfect on their own, dipped in mustard, or the best ever….dipped in queso.  because everything is better with cheese.

& for some reason i had convinced myself that these were time consuming to make, but after trying them again last night, it’s not the case at all.  the whole process only takes about an hour and a half, & that’s with an hour to let the dough rise.  even so, it’s nice to make a big ol’ batch of them & stick them in the freezer, so you can have a soft pretzel any time the craving hits!

after trying several soft pretzel recipes, this one is the best we’ve tasted, one that bobby flay actually won a throwdown with & if you make them, you will definitely see why!

makes 8 large pretzels, or about 8 1/2 dozen pretzel bites

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2-5 cups all purpose flour
vegetable oil
3 quarts water
3/4 baking soda
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon dried minced onion
1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 eggs
1 tablespoon cold water

1. in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, sugar, yeast & butter on low speed, just until combined. let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.

2.  turning the mixer on low, add 4 1/2 cups of flour & the salt until combined.  once combined, turn the speed to medium & knead until the dough is smooth & pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 3-4 minutes.  if the dough looks too wet, begin adding the reserved 1/2 cup of flour 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is smooth.

3.  remove the dough from the mixer bowl, & with your hands, knead into a ball.  coat a medium bowl with vegetable oil & add the dough, turning it to coat in the oil.  cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap & move to a warm spot.  {i like to put mine in the oven with the light on, because our house is so drafty.}  let rise for about an hour, until the dough doubles in size.

4.  preheat the oven to 425°.  bring the 3 quarts of water & baking soda to a boil in a large pot over high heat.  cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper & spray with cooking spray.  in a small bowl, mix together kosher salt, garlic powder, minced onion, poppy seeds & sesame seeds.  get all that prep work out of the way!

5.  remove the dough from the bowl & place on a flat surface.  you shouldn’t need to flour it.  divide the dough into 8 pieces.  roll each piece into a long rope, about 22 inches long.  take the right side & cross it over the left.  cross right to left again & flip up…or do your best to make a pretzel shape.  to make pretzel bites, divide the dough into 8 pieces.  take each piece & divide it in half again.  roll into a long rope about 12 inches long, then cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

6.  boil the pretzels in the baking soda solution for 30 seconds, two at a time for full pretzels, two big handfuls at a time for bites, splashing the tops with water.  remove with a slotted spoon or spider & place on the prepared baking sheets.  continue until all pretzels are finished.

7.  beat the 2 eggs with 1 tablespoon of cold water & brush the tops of the pretzels with the mixture.  sprinkle liberally with the spice mixture {the everythings}.  bake whole pretzels for 15-18 minutes, bites for 12-16 minutes, until a medium golden brown.  let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving…if you can wait that long!

very slightly adapted from bobby flay & food network

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6 Responses to everything soft pretzels

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Oh my goodness Kathleen, I think you’re in my head! I was JUST, like JUST thinking, “hmm, I’d love a soft pretzel. I wonder if there are any good recipes out there…” yay! I may have to go home and do a test run of these tonight before the big game on Sunday. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. Kate says:

    You read my mind, too! SO excited to try these for Superbowl this weekend 🙂 Thanks!

  3. Toni says:

    yum! I am definitely trying these. Do you think they’ll go well with the jalapeno popper dip? I plan on making that for the Superbowl. I’m also doing a trial run of the car bomb cupcakes!

  4. I’m going to have to go get a dough hook this weekend and make these because this is super impressive. My boyfriend and I are both NUTS for soft pretzels, which PS have you ever had the pizza dough pretzels at Mellow Mushroom? Amazing. Or from the pretzel place in Carr Mill Mall in Carrboro? Or the ones at Flying Saucer? And now I’m hungry…

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