Soft Pretzels

I got a bug up my ass and thought I’d try some handmade, home-rolled soft pretzels.

The good news is: they taste like pretzels. Fluffy and … pretzelish.

Bad news: I don’t have enough counterspace or cooking tins to make these the size they needed to be made, so they looked like shit. Hence, no picture. They could use a butter paste, which I did not have ready, and were average tasting at best.

Summary: they were OK, and I’ll take this as acceptable for a first try. Gimme a mulligan. At least they’re edible and what was expected… just close your eyes and tell yourself it’s a pretzel, OK?

4 tsp dry active yeast
1 tsp white sugar + 0.5 cup white sugar for flour mix
1.25 cups warm water
4 cups hot water
5 cups flour
1.5 tsp table salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil + more for oiling a bowl
0.5 cup baking soda
kosher salt (I used kosher sea salt. YMMV)

Add dry yeast, 1 tsp white sugar and 1.25 cups warm water in a bowl. Stir until dissolved, then let stand for 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl add the flour, 0.5 cup white sugar, and 1.5 tsp table salt.

Add the yeast mixture and the vegetable oil. Mix to form the dough (if the mix is too dry add some water).

Knead dough until smooth. Note: not as easy as it sounds and takes longer than you think. “Baker’s hands” indeed.

Use more oil to grease a bowl lightly–place the dough in the bowl and keep turning it until the dough has been oiled.

Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450

Divide dough into 10-12 equal pieces. Note: these are not small pretzels. You could probably have 18+ if you’re rolling thinly enough.

Roll the dough and make a pretzel shape. Dip the finished pretzel in the soda water and place on greased cookie sheet.

Sprinkle the tops of each pretzel with the desired amount of kosher salt and/or any seasoning you may wish to have or use.

Bake at 450 degrees for 7-8 minutes or until brown.

Next time I do this, I’m going to incorporate some more flavorful dough or spices before putting it in the oven. It will have to wait until I have a real kitchen, though, because working with 2 bowls and almost no counterspace upped the degree of difficulty beyond what I was expecting. Oh, and I need to add more oil to the mixing boil. This was a sticky ass mess.

Review: 2/5. No better than average.