Carb heaven. Nothing beats home-made soft pretzels, hot out of the oven, drenched in melted butter and sprinkled with sea salt. Just ask our friends who came over for the Super Bowl last night and gobbled these babies up.
We dipped these in home-made queso sauce (not pictured but delicious) and vegetarian chili.
I doubled the recipe to make sure there was plenty for everyone and thank goodness I did. In fact, I could have tripled it because having leftover pretzels with my leftover work-lunches would be awesome.
Yes, they are everything you are dreaming of. Warm. Buttery. Salty. Pretzel-y.
I made regular twisty pretzels and little pretzel bites. Both were equally delicious. The bites were perfect for a party since people can have a taste or go back for more without having to finish off an entire pretzel.
The pretzel dough would taste delicious as a pigs-in-a-blanket wrapper, or bagel (pragel, if you will), or really, any way you could possibly cook it. I haven’t tried a loaf of pretzel bread yet but I probably will since this recipe is really easy to make and has turned out well every time I’ve tried.
- 2½ cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
- ⅞ to 1 cup warm water (use more water in the winter, less water in the summer)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- coarse sea salt, optional
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Place the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Add the water and stir until combined. Knead the dough by hand (or machine, but I prefer hand-kneading for this recipe) for 5 minutes until it feels soft and smooth. Flour the dough and place in a plastic bag to rest for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, prepare the baking soda bath. Combine boiling water with baking soda in a baking dish until the baking soda is dissolved (or mostly dissolved). Set aside to cool slightly.
- Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Grease your counter top or work surface with olive oil or cooking oil and divide into eight equal pieces. Let pieces rest 5 minutes.
- Roll each of the eight pieces into a long, thin rope. Twist each rope into a pretzel or cut into 6-8 equal bite-size pieces. (To make a pretzel twist, shape your rope into a U-shape. Take the ends of each U and twist into an X. Twist again. Fold towards the base of the U.)
- Place the pretzels 4 at a time into the baking soda bath and spoon the water over the tops (or flip so each side gets bathed). Let sit for 2 minutes in the water - this gives the warm golden-brown pretzel colour we are going for. Transfer to baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
- Once removed from the oven, brush pretzels thoroughly with the melted butter. Keep brushing. Yep, use all that buttery goodness, really soak those babies good. Ahhh yisss. Eat them while they're toasty warm, or reheat in toaster oven or microwave if eating later.
Some other pretzel-y ideas:
- Making sweet pretzel bites covered in cinnamon sugar
- Everything bagel spice blend as a topping – sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced onion, dried minced garlic and sea salt
- Pretzel bites stuffed with cheese
Seriously, make these for your next get-together or bring them to work and be the most popular person in the office. They are a hit and super easy to throw together. And if there are going to be more than 1-2 people eating them (or if you are a carbivore like me), just go ahead and double the recipe. You won’t regret it.