I was flipping through my journal and had an occasion to remember my love for soft pretzels when I came across a small reminder:
So I searched through some pretzel bread recipes, realized they were basically just bagels boiled in baking soda, and couldn’t believe I hadn’t made these sooner. So easy. And it only takes about hour and a half. Mine were ready by breakfast time!
Here’s what you need:
- 1 Tbs dry active yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 and 3/4 cup bread flour
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1 tsp salt (plus more for sprinkling)
- 1 Tbs vegetable or olive oil
- Nonstick spray
- 1/3 cup baking soda
1. Place 1 Tbs yeast in the bottom of mixing bowl fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add 1 tsp of the total amount of sugar to the yeast. Cover with warm water and watch it activate (it’s aliiiiive) over the next 5 or so minutes.
2. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, and remaining sugar. Once the yeast has activated, add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix on low speed until combined and the dough forms a ball around the hook. If the dough is too dry and starts to streak in the bowl, add a little more lukewarm water, 1 Tbs at a time, until the dough begins to pull away form the bowl. If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle in some more flour.
3. Once the dough forms a ball around the hook, increase to medium speed and let mix for about 8 minutes. The dough should be elastic and smooth.
4. Add the tablespoon of oil to the bottom of a bowl. Once dough is ready, turn it in the bowl to coat with oil and set aside in a warm dry place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
5. Punch down the dough and turn it out on a floured surface. Knead for about a minute, until the dough springs back when poked. Divide the dough into equal sections (depending on how large or small you wish your rolls to be). I ended up with seven small balls of dough, and that seemed to work just fine. Roll the cut dough into a ball and place on a greased baking sheet to rise for another fifteen to twenty minutes. At this point, if you wish, you can cut a small “X” on the tops of the dough.
6. While you’re waiting for your dough to rise, fill a large saucepan with water, add the 1/3 of a cup of baking soda and bring it to a boil. I would advise against dumping the baking soda into already boiling water, as mine exploded all over the stove upon contact (not pictured). The water should be frothy. Also, preheat your oven to 425 for the pretzel baking. Oh yeah.
7. Using a slotted spoon, drop one of the balls into the boiling water for 1 minute, flipping it halfway through to boil both sides. Place on the greased baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls.
8. Once all the dough has been boiled and salted, bake them at 425 for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately.
Breakfast is served.