Keyword: pretzel, pretzel dough, pretzels, pretzels and cheese, soft pretzels
1 1/2cupswarm water between 110-115 degrees F
1 1/2tablespoonsgranulated sugar
4 1/4cupsall-purpose flour
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and yeast to the warm water. Allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes, giving the yeast a chance to activate.
Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. You will use this bowl later to allow the dough to rise.
Add the melted butter and flour to the mixer, and mix on low until all of the ingredients are combined. Once fully incorporated, increase the speed to medium. Knead for 4-5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Lightly oil the flour bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for at least one hour in a warm place.
Once the dough has doubled in size, divide it into 8 equal portions. Work with one part at a time and keep the others covered in the oiled bowl. DO NOT FLOUR YOUR WORKING SURFACE! You will need the surface clean and unfloured to help the pretzels hold their shape.
Roll each portion into a rope, 24" long. Begin in the middle and roll while pushing down and out. Try to maintain a consistent thickness around the rope. Make a "U" shape and twist the ends. Fold over, and if necessary- secure the "legs" with a drop of water.
Allow the shaped pretzels to rest and slightly rise, for about 20 minutes. This will also help the seams seal and reduce leakage in stuffed pretzels. These can now be covered and refrigerated overnight.
Prepare Dipping Solution
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large stainless steel pot, heat 10 cups of water. Stir in the baking soda carefully and continue to heat to a boil. Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium. The water should be hot, but not boiling during the dipping process.
Place one or two pretzels at a time into the liquid. Leave them for 30 seconds before lifting them out of the water. Allow them to drip dry and place them on the parchment lined baking sheet.
Egg Wash & Salt
Mix the egg yolks and water in a small bowl. Brush the tops of the pretzels with egg yolks before adding the pretzel salt.
Place the prepared pretzels in the top half of the oven and set a timer for 8 minutes. Baking may take 8-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of your pretzels. Use convection, if available. Rotate pans top to bottom and front to back, halfway through baking.
Buttery pretzels should have a brown top and sides. When done, remove from baking sheets and place on a cooling rack. These are best served warm! To enjoy later- place in a warm oven for 2-3 minutes to cirsp the outside and warm the center.
*This recipe has been adapted from Dorothy Lane Market culinary center.