Soft Pretzels


Last Monday, while skimming through my new favorite magazine, my second born and I stumbled upon this recipe. I told her we could make them over the weekend. We couldn't wait. We ended up having them as an appetizer for Tuesday dinner.
They were simple to make and tasted delicious. Our only problem (and I use that word loosely) was that we couldn't get the dough to stretch into 30 inch ropes. We stretched it as much as we could and then formed the pretzels. They shrunk a bit in the oven, and as you can see, ours ended up pretty squat and round. We actually think it made them even better. You know how the middle of the cinnamon roll is the best? So is the middle of the pretzel!


Ingredients
For the Pretzels:

* 1 cup milk
* 1 package active dry yeast
* 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
* 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
* 1 teaspoon fine salt
* 1/3 cup baking soda
* 2 tablespoons coarse salt

For the Sauce:

* 1/4 cup mayonnaise
* 1/4 cup dijon mustard
* 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

Directions

Make the pretzels: Warm the milk in a saucepan until it's about 110 degrees; pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon. Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften; stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. (If the dough seems tight, cover and let rest until it relaxes.) Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.

Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

Prepare the sauce: Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, brown sugar and vinegar in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish. Dip the hot pretzels in the butter, turning to coat; place on a wire rack to let excess butter drip off. Serve the pretzels warm with the sweet mustard sauce.

5 comments:

Ryan said...

Can't wait to see your post on how the Chipa turns out!

Megan said...

Ryan,
I'm just waiting for you to drop off the tub of freshly rendered lard. Have Heather take some pictures of the process. I'll feature you as a guest post!

Morgan said...

Hey Megan,
Hope you andd the girls plus one boy are all doing good. I just wanted to stop by and tell you that we loved the cyclists version for salmon, and we loved making the pretzels as a fun sunday afternoon treat. Those were so good. Thanks for the fun recipes.

nancy said...

Matt begged me to make the pretzels today so here we go. I made your pull apart bread Sun a.m. yumm! Do you think you could make cinnamon rolls that same way? We got 18 baby chicks last night if you want to bring the girls to see them. They are only 2 wks old and so cute! -Nancy

Megan said...

Nancy,
Check out the overnight sticky buns (http://bradleykitchen.blogspot.com/2008/02/over-night-sticky-buns.html) They are cinnamony but also caramely (neither one of those are real words!). You could probably make them with vanilla pudding and cinnamon instead of orange zest. Maybe we'll try it! Good luck with the chicks. We'd love to make it out to see them!