pretzels are friends of beer, so pretzels are friends of mine.
if you like eating soft pretzels, you should make these! maybe you’re an experienced baker, or maybe if you’ve never worked with a yeast dough before; either way, these couldn’t be easier to pull off. every time i make them — every time! — i find myself thinking, “oh YEAH. these are almost no work at all.” make a batch yourself and have some friends over. we did, and the pretzels disappeared so fast that i didnt get to photograph them alongside their other friend, mustard. (so, i made another batch.)
these are super-great for making ahead and bringing to parties, too. where you’ll make new friends. who will want to bring beer over to your house, if you promise to have homemade pretzels around.
i don’t hate it!
these are as chewy and flavorful as they look… i could eat them every day. i recommend a spicy-brown mustard accompaniment, but a cheesy-sauce option would not be amiss.
there isn’t a lot else to say except get to the recipe.
soft pretzelsrecipe from vkreesphotography.com makes 16 obviously, i am not proficient at shaping pretzels… so i usually just make them into pretzel rings. (just as delicious!) i’ve also shaped them into little donut-holes, bite-sized to feed a crowd.
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
- 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- kosher or pretzel salt, for finishing
in a large bowl, whisk sugar, salt and yeast together, then add the water and let it sit for about 5 minutes. add flour and melted butter, and stir until combined. turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
shape into a smooth ball and let rise in a lightly oiled bowl, covered tightly with plastic wrap, for one hour in a warm, draft-free place.
preheat oven to 450. fill a large skillet about halfway with water, and bring baking soda and water to a boil. meanwhile, divide the dough in half; then divide each portion in half again, repeating until there are 16 even portions. roll each portion into a rope 6-ish inches long and shape into pretzel twists. gently place 4 or 5 pretzels at a time into the boiling water; when they float, flip them and boil another 60 seconds. remove with a spider or slotted spoon and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet (i needed two sheets for all the pretzels). sprinkle with salt, and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until a deep brown.
best served slightly warm, in my opinion. store in an air-tight container at room temperature — reheat in a warm oven to bring back their original chewy softness.