Monday, March 2, 2009
Monday Snack -- Easy Soft Pretzels
In Pennsylvania, a warm soft pretzel is considered little piece of heaven. They serve them up with mustard or cheese dip and there is a pretzel stand everywhere. I always thought these pretzels would be tough to make. Well today, far away from the pretzel haven of PA the kids and I rolled out 24 of these soft chewy treats in my kitchen. They had fun designing all kinds of fun pretzel shapes. It was an enjoyable afternoon in the kitchen and a tasty snack time. They were surprisingly easy and quick to make. In the past I have made pretzels with the boiling/baking method. This recipe requires no baking and a very short rise time. You can buy these in a pack of four or six in the freezer section (and I promise they are not as good) for around $3, you can buy one at the pretzel stand for around $2 or you can whip up several days of these favorites for a significant financial savings.
1 1/2 C Water
2 pkgs active dry yeast
1/4 C sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1/4 C oil
4 - 4 1/2 C flour (I used all purpose, but it could work with whole wheat also)
1 egg white
1 T water
sea salt or other coarse salt
Pour warm water into bowl and sprinkle in yeast. Stir until dissolved.
Add sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Gradually add remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Knead dough for 10 minutes (I used my Bosch mixer on low) until smooth and elastic. Cover bowl and let set 30 minutes (I actually only let mine sit for 10 minutes on accident and the pretzels turned out fine).
Divide dough into 24 pieces;cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Roll each into a uniform 18" rope. Shape into a pretzel by making a circle, overlapping the two ends and twisting one time. Press ends onto bottom of circle.
Place on greased baking sheet. Beat egg whites and water and brush on tops of pretzels. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Cool on wire rack.