Shhh…I have a secret. I am a full blown bread addict. I’ve tried to kick the habit, but I just can’t imagine living without bread. I love everything about bread and all types of bread. That being said, I’m always on the search for a new recipe that will satisfy my bread cravings.
A few days ago, during one of my craving fits, I was surfing the web and came across Alton Brown’s Soft Pretzel recipe. I’ve tried other Alton Brown recipes and he’s never failed me before, so I decided to give it a shot. Guess what? I think I may have found the perfect soft pretzels recipe. It has a soft outside shell, buttery flavor, and a soft chewy inside. The only negative to this recipe is that it only makes 8 large pretzels *sad face*.
Doesn’t this look yummy?
Alton Brown’s Soft Pretzel – The Perfect Soft Pretzels Recipe
1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted (don’t skip this step…it gives the hint of buttery flavor)
Vegetable oil, for pan (I just sprayed my non-stick spray on my parchment paper)
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Kosher salt for tops of pretzels
*The original recipe calls for a stand mixer, but I just used my muscles*
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and mix until well combined. Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan.
In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.