How to Make Soft Pretzels from Scratch
In actual fact, making pretzels is easy. They are made with the same simple dough as with a loaf of bread. The only difficult part is when you have to soak the pretzels in boiling water before baking them. Next, we give a step-by-step run through on how to make soft pretzels from scratch. If you have any questions we will be happy to help you with this recipe.
To start to make soft pretzels from scratch, you should mix warm water and yeast in a medium-sized bowl. Leave it to stand for a few minutes, and then stir to dissolve the yeast. Add 2½ cups of flour, sugar and salt. Stir with a strong spatula to form a floury dough.
Using a whisk, mix gently for 5 minutes. You can also knead by hand. If the dough is very sticky after 1 minute, add flour one tablespoon at a time until a ball is formed. The dough is ready when it's soft and slightly sticky, and resembles a ball. Clean the bowl, coat it with oil, and return the dough to the bowl. Cover and leave the pretzel dough to rest in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, which should take roughly 1 hour.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts.
Work with one piece of dough at a time. Stretch out the dough into a long thin stick along the table using the palms of your hands. The aim is to have a stick of around 50 centimeters in length. If it shrinks back, leave it to rest on one side, roll another piece of dough, and then go back to the previous stick.
Lift both ends of the stick towards the top of the work surface and cross them over. Cross them once more to make a knot.
Then fold the knot downwards through the lower loop to make the pretzel shape.
Place the pretzel on a tray lined with baking paper and continue putting the other pretzels together. When all the pretzels have been formed, lightly cover them and put them aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 230 ° C (446 °F).
When the pretzels start to rise, pour 8 cups of water into a large pan and place it on the stove over a high heat. Make sure the pan has high sides, because once the baking soda is added, the water will froth up and double in volume.
Bring the water to a boil, and add the baking soda and syrup or brown sugar. The baking soda will cause the water to froth up and rise to the edges of the pan. Stir to dissolve the baking soda and sugar. Reduce to a medium heat.
Put 2 or 3 pretzels in the water, or as many as can fit without being too full.
Simmer for 30 seconds, and then use a slotted spoon to flip the pretzels. Simmer for another 30 seconds, then take the pretzels out of the water and place them on the baking tray. In the water bath, the pretzels swell and develop a thick and wrinkly appearance. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.
Once all the pretzels have been immersed in the water bath, brush them with the egg and water mixture, and sprinkle with salt. Bake the pretzels until they are dark brown and shiny, for 12 to 15 minutes.
Move the freshly-baked homemade soft pretzels to a cooling rack and leave them to stand until they are cool enough. Pretzels are best eaten when freshly-made and warm. You can accompany your pretzel with some roasted garlic butter or even a cheese dip.
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