Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Easy Soft Pretzels

Last weekend marked the second round of the Beer Olympics! Needless to say, I didn't win anything other than a hangover. Boy oh boy, did we have a blast. Check out the scoreboard!

In order to combat the excessive amount of beer drinking, I opted to make soft pretzels for the Olympians. With time running out, I went the cheater's route and used pre-made store dough to make the soft pretzels. Taking a cue from Ms. Martha, I followed her recipe and discovered how simple it is to make homemade soft pretzels.

The hardest part for me was the actual pretzel knot tying. I couldn't follow Martha's instructions for the life of me, so I simply started making an assortment of knots, ties, and bows to see what would work best. Note to self for next time - make sure your knots and ties are solid or else they will come undone during the quick boil process (learned this the hard way).

All in all though, it was a very easy recipe and is going to make a comeback soon! Enjoy!

Easy Soft Pretzels
Adapted from: Soft Pretzels
  • 1-2 bags of pre-made pizza dough from the local store
  • 3-6 tbsp baking soda
  • oil for baking sheets
  • Coarse rock salt  
Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape. Cut dough into 12 pieces (per bag), and roll each into an 18-inch rope. I found that twirling the dough in the air helped.

Form a U shape with 1 rope, and twist ends together twice. Fold twisted portion backward along center of U shape to form a circle, then gently press ends of rope onto dough to seal. Or simply make your own twist/knot/tie. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, and repeat. Let rise for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add baking soda. Boil pretzels in batches until puffed and slightly shiny, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to wire racks to drain. Sprinkle with the rock salt while still damp (this will help the salt stick).

Return to baking sheet and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Pretzels will keep, uncovered, at room temperature for up to 12 hours. Rewarm in a 250-degree oven if desired, and serve with mustards.

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