A while ago, I was craving those nice, big pretzels you get at the mall or Sam's Club (or wherever....). I went through a dozen different recipes and this one looked the easiest. :) We all know that I am all about easy! :D I just have to say, though, I got the recipe from here, and my pretzels didn't look anything like those. But they tasted great!
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/8 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bread flour (I didn't have that, so I just used regular flour-and they still turned out fine)
- 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir in flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. (Or, if you are impatient like me, feel proud of yourself if you last 3 or 4 minutes.) Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise for one hour.
- Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8 inch square pan.
- After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner. Twist into a pretzel shape, and dip into the baking soda solution. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes.
- Bake at 450 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt or cinnamon sugar.
As a side note, I have to say that I did NOT follow the directions to roll each piece into a 3 foot rope. I just kind of rolled them out until they seemed fine to me, and they were not anywhere near "pencil thin." My pretzels were smaller than what they have in the picture, and I'm sure this is why. However, they were still really good and REALLY filling. Also, I didn't have the right kind of salt, so I used cinnamon sugar, which was also fine. :)
I also didn't follow the directions about the parchment paper. I sprayed a pan really well, then just set them right on that after dipping them in the water mixture. And they still came off the pan just fine after cooking. Oh, and P.S., they really aren't all that great the next day, so do yourself a favor and just eat them all when you make them. ;) Trust me, after one bite, you'll want to.