Is there anything more tempting that the smell of hot pretzels wafting through the air during a trip to the mall? It’s probably a good thing that those stores stay in the mall and don’t have a drive-through or I would be making a few too many visits. Last week, however, I had a sudden craving, but couldn’t decide which was stronger: my desire for hot pretzels or my reluctance to put on pants.
So, I did want any reasonable person would do: I sent Husband to the grocery store and made pretzels with my sister at home.
And they were amazing.
Here’s what you do:
- Combine 1 package quick action yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 cups plain flour, and 2 cups bread flour in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix together 4 tablespoons melted butter with 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (confession: I was too impatient to let the milk warm, so my milk/butter mixture looked a little interesting).
- Slowly add butter mixture to flour mixture until it forms a soft, dough ball.
- Knead for 8-10 minutes. Place back in large bowl. Cover. Leave alone to rise for 1-2 hours, or until double in size.
- Sit back and watch some TV.
- Later, heat oven to 375. Cut dough into 16 pieces and roll into fun shapes (we tried classic, hearts, snails, twists, and swirls). There is no perfection here, just play with it and have fun. Make sure to make similar sizes so they bake evenly.
- Dissolve 2 tablespoons baking soda into 2 cups hot water. Dip rolled pretzels into mixture (this does some magic that I cannot describe, but don’t skip this step).
- Place on greased baking pan or parchment paper. Place in oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until brown.
- While they are baking, melt some butter (about 2 tablespoons should do) and create a cinnamon/sugar mixture.
- Once pretzels are out of oven, but still hot, brush them with butter and dip them into cinnamon/sugar mixture. Or sprinkle them with sea salt. No rules here. Just awesomeness.
Trust me: they will smell so good that you will be burning your fingers and mouth trying to gobble them down while they are still hot.
Now you have perfect pretzels! And you don’t even have to wear pants! Husband loved them, my friends loved them, and now I’m craving more of them, so I’m off to the kitchen.