Homemade Soft Pretzels: Better Than The Mall!

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There’s nothing quite like the satisfying crunch and salty goodness of a perfectly baked pretzel. These twisted treats are ideal for on-the-go snacking, movie nights, or enjoying alongside your favorite dip. While store-bought pretzels are convenient, there’s something undeniably special about making them yourself. This recipe empowers you to create bakery-worthy pretzels from the comfort of your own kitchen, and believe it or not, it’s surprisingly simple!

Ingredients:

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels

1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

  • Directions:

    1. Activate the Yeast: In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes foamy and bubbly. This signifies that the yeast is active.

    2. Create the Dough: Add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture. Using a dough whisk or a spoon, stir until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook for this step.

    3. First Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it once to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

    4. Shaping the Pretzels: Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Once the dough has risen, divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a long rope, about 18-20 inches long. To create the classic pretzel shape, fold the dough into a U-shape. Twist the ends of the dough twice and then bring them down to press firmly onto the bottom of the U-shape.

    5. Pretzel Bath: In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil. Carefully lower each pretzel into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove the pretzels with a slotted spoon and place them back on the prepared baking sheet.

    6. Sprinkle and Bake: Sprinkle the tops of the pretzels generously with coarse sea salt, if desired. Bake the pretzels for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

    7. Enjoy! Let the pretzels cool slightly before digging in. They’re perfect on their own or enjoyed with your favorite dipping sauce.

    Nutrition Facts (per pretzel):

    Calories: 230

  • Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 420mg
  • Carbohydrates: 43g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Protein: 6g

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional value and may vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.

    Conclusion

    With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can create delicious homemade pretzels whenever the craving strikes. Feel free to experiment with different toppings beyond coarse sea salt, such as sesame seeds, everything bagel seasoning, or even a light drizzle of melted butter and cinnamon sugar.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    1. Can I use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast?

    Yes, you can substitute instant yeast with a 1:1 ratio. However, you won’t need to activate it in warm water beforehand. Simply add it directly to the dry ingredients.

    2. What if my dough isn’t rising?

    There are a few reasons why your dough might not be rising. Make sure the water temperature is lukewarm (between 105°F and 115°F). Cold water won’t activate the yeast, while hot water will kill it. Additionally, double-check that your yeast is not expired.

    3. How can I store leftover pretzels?

    Store leftover pretzels in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. They can also be frozen for longer storage. To reheat, simply wrap them in foil and warm them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5-7 minutes, or until warmed through.

    4. Can I make pretzel bites with this dough?