This month the Avid Baker's Challenge group is baking these hot buttered soft pretzels from the King Arthur Flour recipe site. This recipe is super easy and fast, so if you have a craving for soft warm pretzels, you can whip these up in less than an hour and a half.... and you can eat them right out of the oven!
The dough starts out fairly slack and sticky, but after the first rise, it is really easy to handle. Since this is my first time trying to form pretzels, I was really happy to see the King Arthur Flour blog page for shaping instructions. (You can see my pretzels prior to baking on my Instagram page.)
In lieu of pretzel salt (what? An ingredient I don't have? How can this be?) I sprinkled coarse sea salt on my pretzels, Once these pretzels are removed from the oven, they are brushed generously with melted butter.
Verdict? On the first day, these are tasty, but more like hot dinner rolls than the soft chewy pretzels you might buy from a pretzel vendor. That being said, Mr. K immediately ate two of them.
They warm up wonderfully the next day in the toaster oven (I actually toasted them) and are a bit more chewy, more like the soft pretzels from a vendor. Would I make them again? Yes. After I've ordered the pretzel salt. =)
Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels
For the dough:
298 g unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
7/8 to 1 C warm water (depends on the humidity, because it's winter here, I used all of the water)
For the topping:
1 C boiling water
2 T baking soda
Coarse salt such as kosher or pretzel salt
3 T unsalted butter, melted
- Place all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir until fully combined. Knead with the dough hook for about 5 minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball and coat it with flour. Place the dough into a plastic bag and let it rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the meantime, prepare the topping by combining the boiling water and baking soda and stirring until the baking soda is dissolved. Allow to cool. Pour into a 9 inch square pan.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Let the pieces rest for 5 minutes, uncovered.
- Roll each piece of the dough into a 28 to 30 inch rope and shape into a pretzel.
- Place four pretzels in the water bath for 2 minutes, basting the tops of the pretzels with the water.
- Place the pretzels on the baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with the salt.
- Repeat with the next four pretzels.
- Let the pretzels rest on the baking sheet, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
- Bake the pretzels for 8 or 9 minutes, until they are golden brown.
- Brush immediately with the melted butter. Use up all of the butter.
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