There a few things in this world as delicious as homemade bread, even better though is a homemade soft pretzel… they not only taste like bread but they’re chewy and salty and the crust sticks to your teeth just a bit when you tear a piece off, oh baby they are so good!
I was at the mall recently with my daughter and noticed a long line of people, I looked down the hall at what everyone was waiting so long for and sure enough, there was a new soft pretzel place that opened up. They were ridiculously expensive and due to the lack of any cooking equipment, I could conclude that they were not freshly baked but people were all over it, especially the variety of dips to choose from.
We have very good friends with whom we travel often and they always opt for the soft pretzel when we’re out shopping. Hmmmm, maybe I shouldn’t give away this recipe after all and just go into the soft pretzel business…. Nah!
I make these now and then for my family but I admit, they are more work than the average bread so it’s a treat and I know they won’t last long so I have to be willing to put in a bit more time for a pretty short pay off. My kids and my husband just love them though and yep, they’re worth it.
Makes 24 – 2oz pretzels
215g Water, warm (110°F)
300g Milk, warm (110°F)
20G Malted Milk Powder (Ovaltine)
815g AP Flour
6g Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
Place Water, milk, yeast, milk powder, oil and honey in a bowl, stir to combine and allow to sit for five minutes. In the meantime, weigh flour with salt. Add the wet to the dry in a mixer fitted with a hook attachment and mix on low for 10 minutes. Knead by hand for one minute to make it into a smooth ball allow to proof (rise) for 1.5 hours in a covered and oiled bowl.
Divide dough into 24 – 2oz balls, roll into smooth balls and allow to rest for 5 minutes while covered with a damp cloth. roll balls into ropes and shape into pretzels pressing the ends firmly into the base of the pretzel. Proof on a greased parchment lined baking sheet covered loosely in plastic wrap for another 1.5 hours, until doubled in size. It’s important to grease the parchment paper so you are able to pick up the proofed dough easily without deflating it.
Preheat the oven to 425°F and boil a large pot of water. This is the solution that will give the pretzels their signature taste and colour.
12 Cups Water
65g Baking Soda
Bring water to a rapid boil and gently pick up each pretzel and place into the solution, boil on each side for 30 seconds, do this in batches of 4-5 so as not to overload the pot. Place the boiled pretzel on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once all the pretzels are boiled, place in the oven for 10 minutes to finish cooking and become mohogany brown. Serve with warm Cheddar Dijon Sauce