You're not going to believe this! Wait for it...wait for it...I made pretzels! And if I can make pretzels that means you can too!! I looove soft pretzels. I have been wanting to try to make them for a while, and one afternoon I was sitting in my home and I realized that my kitchen was just way too clean...the perfect time to make pretzels! When I told Bradley I was making pretzels he said, "you mean the ones that they sell at fairs?" No, I mean big fancy gourmet pretzels that are perfect for an afternoon snack with a diet coke. *Sigh* somethings in life are just too good to communicate over a blog, a diet coke moment is one of them.
When I think of pretzels I don't think of the fair, I think of Auntie Anne's. There was one located at the mall in Knoxville, after a hard day of shopping there is nothing better than a giant cinnamon sugar pretzel with a diet coke (again with the diet coke... once a friend told me that diet coke was addictive because it had cocaine it, thus the name "coke" evidently the evil ploy by Coca Cola to hook consumers).
Are you ready for this? If you can make a pretzel there is nothing stopping you from bagels, and bagels you can eat every day. Blueberry bagels, sesame bagels, chocolate chip bagels, one for every mood, delicious bagels covered in all kinds of cream cheese, the chance to be creative with bagels makes me giddy! I L-O-V-E bagels! I heart them too. No, I don't love everything even though it may seem that way. I actually HATE some things. One thing in particular.
That is all I can say. I hate it. I cannot talk about it. If I talk about bacon in the same post as pretzels it could quite possibly ruin the pretzels.
So, back to pretzels. I'll save my love of bagels and my hate of bacon for another day.
From Joy the Baker
1 tablespoon sugar
1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
First combine sugar, yeast and 1.5 cups of warm water. Let this stand for about 5-10 minutes until foamy (if it doesn't foam do it again with another packet of yeast).
Then mix together 3.5 cups flour and 1 tablespoon of salt. Add yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it becomes dough. Dust work surface with flour and knead the dough for 8 minutes. Keep adding flour as the dough is very sticky and you want the dough to be smooth. In the end you still want it sticky, but you want to be able to work with it too. Place dough back in the bowl and cover tightly with saran wrap to let it rise for 45 minutes. Should double in size.
Divide your dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll dough into a long 24 inch rope.
Twist dough into pretzel shape. If dough is sticking to your hands dust with flour. Dough will retract slightly when you pull it.
Place pretzels on an oiled baking sheet about an 1.5 inches apart. Set aside uncovered for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425. Make sure the oven rack is in the upper third of the oven. Start boiling a pot of water. Add heaping tablespoon of baking soda to the boiling water.
Carefully add 2-3 pretzels to the boiling water. Turn over once with tongs. Keep in the water about 3 minutes or until puffy and the shape is set. Transfer pretzels to a rack to cool.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper and oil paper. Like up your pretzels and brush with egg. Sprinkle your desired toppings. I sprinkled 4 with sea salt and 4 with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Bake until golden brown and lightly crusty. About 25 minutes.
Let cool for about 15 and serve warm. Oh my goodness. I ate 2 pretzels within 10 minutes.
I realized I had to get rid of them because I would eat all 8. I immediately took them out of the house and gave them away to fun friends.
I can't wait to make them again. They were delicious. I just need people to give them too...