While at dinner a month or so ago with friends we ordered soft pretzels as an appetizer. I mentioned that the Fall 2013 issue of Hy-Vee’s Seasons magazine had a recipe for soft pretzels and that I would like to try someday. My friend Crystal said, “Let’s do it!” We scheduled time on the calendar right that minute. I love it when ideas become reality.
Overall, the recipe is not difficult, it just takes some time. Making the pretzels with friends while sharing dinner made it seem simple as can be. Below is a picture summary of the process with the detailed steps to follow.
A link to Hy-Vee’s recipe with ingredient amounts is provided at the bottom.
1. Combine water, sugar and kosher salt in a large bowl, sprinkle yeast on top and let sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast foams.
2. Add flour and butter to stand mixer. We doubled the recipe to make 16 pretzels and the bowl was pretty full.
3. Knead the ingredients with the dough hook until the dough is smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Watch out for peeping toms in the window.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl, oil the bowl with vegetable oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour. This is a great time to have dinner. Crystal made an amazing pot of Spicy Vegetable Soup and the time flew by.
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Since we doubled the recipe we had 16 individual dough balls.
6. Now the fun begins, shaping the dough into pretzels. Since two IT guys were helping us do this, we were subjected to a technical discussion and even a you tube video they found. It starts with rolling one of the dough balls into a rope about 24 inches long.
7. Make a U shape with the rope and cross them over twice making a twist.
8. Press the ends of the rope to the bottom of the U making the pretzel shape.
9. The pretzels are then individually dropped into a pot of boiling water with baking soda for about 30 seconds. They are removed with a slotted spoon and laid on a parchment lined baking sheet.
10. The tops of the pretzels are brushed with an egg yolk and water wash and sprinkled with pretzel salt. We used sea salt. There may or may not have been a little glitch in our process at this point by the person reading the directions but we won’t talk about that!
11. The pretzels went into a preheated 450 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes.
12. They turned out even better than we expected.
Click here for the link to the detailed recipe from Hy-vee. It was so much fun cooking with friends, we are already talking about our next adventure, do I hear cinnamon rolls?????