One of my favorite things about writing this blog is discovering how much better homemade versions of some things are. Case in point:
I can think of a few others. Pizza. Nachos. Muffins. Okay, maybe I can think of a lot of others. I’m definitely not saying I don’t ever like to enjoy a meal out. Or even a soft pretzel out. But man, these were good.
And the best part about it is that they aren’t nearly as hard as they seem. You’re basically making bread, with one added step.
Here’s what you need:
1 1/2 cups warm (110ish degrees) water
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp. yeast (one packet)
22 ounces all-purpose flour (4 1/2 cups)
2 oz. melted unsalted butter
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Begin by mixing the warm water, sugar, kosher salt and yeast together in the bowl of your stand mixer. Allow to foam for about five minutes. Add the flour and melted butter and mix using the dough hook until combined. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise for about one hour.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the water boils, sprinkle in the baking soda while stirring.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, and roll each piece out into a long rope, at least 18 inches long. Form each rope into a “U” shape, then twist the two ends around each other twice. Place the “U” rope onto a flat surface and fold in the middle of the “U,” so you can bring the ends back and press them into the bottom of the “U” to make the traditional pretzel shape. Place the pretzels on sheets of parchment paper while you complete all of them.
When the pretzels are complete, drop them carefully into the boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Wash all with the egg and water mixture, then salt liberally. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the pretzels develop a beautiful caramel coloring.
Adapted very lightly from Alton Brown and the Food Network.