My husband has been asking for homemade pretzels since Oktoberfest…three years ago. I don’t know why it took me so long! They are super easy and fun to make, unbelievably delicious and not to mention pretty!
This falls under the “I can’t believe I made these!” category. The dough is basic but I did some pretzel research and the most important thing to do is make the baking soda bath. It is key for two reasons: (1) the beautiful golden brown color and (2) that very specific pretzel flavor. Otherwise, they would just be breadsticks which would be a great way to use this dough, by the way.
My son had the best time rolling out the dough into snakes and when we ate them he said, “these taste like the ones from the cart, but better!”
These pretzels come out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Great right out of the oven! And they are great heated up. Wrap them in tin foil and place them into a 350 oven until warm. And after a few days, the pretzels dry out and get crunchy. Fun!
2 1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast * (1 packet)
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon bread salt
1 teaspoon vegan sugar
Coarse sea salt
Baking Soda Bath
4 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda
* I keep a canister of yeast in the freezer and a 2 1/4 tablespoon measure ready and waiting for a recipe just like this. You can buy the set at King Arthur Flour.
Dissolve the yeast in the water and let it sit a few minutes until the water is cloudy and the yeast is completely dissolved.
Sift 4 cups of flour into the bowl of a stand mixer and add salt and sugar. Mix together with a fork.
Add the yeast water and mix with the paddle attachment until the dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead for five minutes or until the dough is very smooth and stretchy.
Very lightly coat a glass bowl with oil and drop in the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for a half hour so the dough can double in size.
Gently press down the dough and just shape it into a ball. Use a bench scraper to divide it into16 pieces.
Take a piece and roll it on a clean work surface. The goal is to make a 10″ to 12″ dough snake. Press with the heels of your hands from the middle to the ends and lengthen it as you roll. It will take less than a minute. Then knot into a pretzel by pulling the ends up, crossing them and then placing them down on the lower portion of the pretzel. You will see the shape immediately if that description doesn’t help!
Preheat the oven to 425. Take out four baking sheets. Line two with parchment paper. The other will be for the pretzels as they come out of the baking soda bath. I put 8 pretzels on each sheet.
Bring the water and baking soda to a boil.
Use a spider strainer to drop one pretzel at a time into the boiling water. In about 10 seconds, it will float up. Take it out with the spider strainer and place it on the plain baking sheet.
Once they are all out of the bath, place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve on a festive platter and enjoy!