Thursday, January 27, 2011

Soft Pretzels

*Update* I made these into pretzel pockets using the empanada maker from Tupperware. I love this tool but it doesn't work well for soft pretzel dough. So I ended up making 2 with it and 2 without. I put ham/provolone in some and turkey/provolone in some. You can get Applegate Farms lunch meat/cheese slices at BJ's for a good price! They were not the prettiest, but yummy!

*Update* I made these pretzels wrapped around organic hotdogs, and, wow, they were delicious! I also used a mix of bread flour and all-purpose flour and I think that helped the dough to have a better flavor. I can't wait to make these again! This made 8 dogs and 7 pretzels but could have easily made a few more had a stretched the dough better :)

Update: Here is a pic of a better (prettier) batch of pretzels, some twisted for buns, some dogs and some plain pretzels. Still have yet to try cinnamon ones...Also another new pic at the bottom :)

So, I am always finding numerous blogs to read (as you can tell by my ever-growing list on the sidebar) and came across Sweets by Sarah when I was looking for an "Auntie Anne"-like soft pretzel recipe. We loved this recipe, although I do think it tastes different than the commercial ones, they are probably healthier and still good, just different. Here's my version of the recipe (only slight changes made). This made about 18 pretzels although we didn't make them huge (I easily ate 3 to go along with my soup for supper :)

1 1/2 c warm water
1 package yeast (I have started using one made for whole wheat flour from Hodgson's Mill and LOVE it!)
2 T sucanat (although I can't say I measured it exactly)

1-2 turns of my sea salt grinder

2 c King Arthur organic bread flour
2 c King Arthur organic all purpose flour

2 c warm water
2 T baking soda

melted butter (I used Earth Balance)
sea salt

Turn on oven to 200 degrees and then turn off once preheated. Dissolve yeast, salt and sucanat in warm water and let sit a few minutes.Add flour, stir until dough forms a ball and then knead about 5 minutes. Place dough in metal bowl coated with nonstick spray, cover with warm damp towel and place in oven about 30-40 minutes.

When done rising, flour or grease your hand and punch down the dough, turn onto floured surface and knead slightly to get out some of the bubbles. Mix warm water and baking soda and stir frequently during the next steps. Then cut off small pieces (I used my official Auntie Anne's plastic cutter), roll into a long, thin snake and twist into desired shape, dip in water/soda mixture and place on greased cookie sheet. When done shaping all of the dough, preheat oven to 450 degrees and let the dough rise for about 10 minutes before baking about 10 minutes. Melt butter and brush onto pretzels as soon as they come out of the oven and sprinkle with salt or cinnamon/sugar (I didn't think about the cinnamon until much later, bummer). Enjoy warm, or wait and eat cold (yes, I had a moment of weakness and ate my 4th pretzel after they were cold, and it was still wonderful, light, fluffy, delicious!).

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