Thursday, January 13, 2011

90-Minute Soft Pretzels

I always want what I can't have, and being in Korea is making it worse (being pregnant while in Korea sure isn't helping, either)!  We have no Texas Roadhouse, Target or Walmart, Coldstone (ok, there is a 'Coldstone'.. but it is NOT the same), Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel... and there is definitely no Auntie Anne's!  Oh, what I would give for a warm and delicious Auntie Anne's pretzel!

There are about a million recipes for homemade pretzels out on the internet - no joke, I looked!  Then I found one in my bread recipes folder, so I decided to go with that.  I do want to try out a couple other pretzel recipes that I had my eye on, though.

You know how I said I was intimidated by crepes?  Yeah, well working with yeast just plain scares me!  Maybe it's because a few months back I attempted one of my Grandma's most famous recipes - Sweet Petals - and totally jacked it up and had to throw them all away.  But these pretzels were a complete success.  I have gained confidence and I see Sweet Petals in my future!  These pretzels are soft and delicious.  I topped some with cinnamon and sugar, dipped plain ones in mustard, and glazed a few with a honey butter sauce that I made.  Great for a Sunday afternoon snack!

90-Minutes Soft Pretzels
recipe from my Grandma
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. margarine
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • Coarse salt (optional)
Mix sugar, salt, 1 cup of flour, and undissolved yeast together in a large bowl.  In a separate dish, heat 1 cup water and margarine to 120 to 130 degrees.  Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed of mixer.  Add 1/2 cup flour.  Beat at high speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough.  On a floured cutting board, knead dough for about 5 minutes.  Make dough into a round ball, and place into a greased bowl.  Cover (with a towl or with plastic wrap); let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 40 minutes.

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each into a 20-inch rope.  Shape into pretzels.  Place on greased baking sheets.  Cover with a towel; let rest for 5 minutes.

Mix egg yolk and 1 tbsp. water, brush on pretzels so they get a nice golden color.  Sprinkle with coarse salt (optional).  Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes, or until done.  Cool on racks.  Makes 1 dozen.

Best served warm.  If eating them the next day, just pop one in the microwave for a few seconds!


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