I have a tried and true recipe for pretzel bread, but it wasn't until recently that I found a favorite recipe for homemade soft pretzels.
It started off as Alton Brown's recipe, but in the past 2 weeks I've changed it up a bit. The key change being I use quick rising yeast, which changes the mixing method somewhat. Plus I use brown sugar and beer in the dough for extra flavor.
The dough is easy to work with and the pretzels taste great. If you use beer instead of water, you can really taste the beer in the baked pretzel. I made this batch with my favorite of Lagunitas.
Another nice thing about this recipe is that the pretzels are boiled (like bagels) and then brushed with egg so they bake up nice and brown. I tried some recipes for unboiled pretzels, and while they tasted good, they were more like breadsticks.
Lastly, the recipe halves quite nicely so you can make 5 pretzels at a time. And the pretzels freeze well, too.
Homemade Soft Pretzels
- 1 packet instant yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour (616 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter (56 grams)
- 1 ½ cups water or beer warmed to 130 degrees F.
- ⅓ cup baking soda
- 5 cups water
- 1 egg yolk mixed with a tablespoons of water
- Some coarse salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, sugar, 3 ½ cups of the flour and salt.
- Add the softened butter, then add the hot water gradually to the flour mixture, stirring until well mixed. Dough should still be pretty soft at this point.
- Attach the dough hook and begin kneading. At this point, start adding the remaining flour 2 tablespoons at a time and keep adding until dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl as it's kneaded. knead for about 8 minutes.
- Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and turn so that dough is lightly coated with oil. Cover and let rise for one hour.
- After dough has risen, divide it into 10 pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Bring the water and baking soda to a boil in a large saucepan.
- Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope and shape into a pretzel shape directly on nonstick foil or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Working one piece at a time, put the shaped pretzel in the boiling water for 30 seconds, then lift it out with a slotted spatula and return to lined baking sheet.
- When all pretzels are formed, brush with the egg yolk mixture and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for about 12-14 minutes at 450.
If you try these homemade soft pretzels, let me know.
Now bring on the mustard!