Friday, April 26, 2013

30 Minute Soft Pretzels


           A few weeks ago my oldest son rushed through the door as he came home from school and told me he and his friends needed to bake right now because they were due tomorrow for a class project. The original plan was for my son to bake them at a friends house but the mom wasn't home. 


       I panicked for a split second and then went searching for a quick recipe. I found one and into the kitchen we went. We laughed about the fact that they were Dutch kids,baking what was supposed to be a German pretzel recipe, and being taught by an American and speaking english during the whole process.



        Now, these are not German pretzels but in order for me to help them I had to find an english recipe and didn't have time for them to translate the german and if it went wrong, we were going to be in trouble. 

The 3 boys did all the work..they measured and mixed and kneaded..and complained while kneading because it sure did take alot of work and they were super impressed with my kneading skills! They wanted giant pretzels so the top photo is of what they made. The recipe makes 8-10 but they came away with 5..that should tell you how big those suckers were. My son came home the next day and told me his german teacher mentioned how chewy and perfect these were and he just loved them!

These really do only take 30 minutes to bake..which is kind of dangerous since I made them again the following day and will probably do it again this weekend. They are chewy and soft and wonderful. We sprinkled ours with a cinnamon/sugar mixture but you could top them however you like.

30 Minute Soft Pretzels

1-1/2 cups Warm Water
2-1/4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp. Salt
1 TBS Sugar
4-4-1/4 cups All-purpose Flour or a mix of white and whole wheat
1 Large Egg
Course Sea Salt for sprinkling or cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 425 or 220 celcius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Stir with a spoon until mixed. Add 1 cup of the flour along with the salt;mix until combined. Slowly add the remaining flour,1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is thick. Continue to add flour until dough is no longer sticky.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball and with a sharp knife,cut ball of dough into 1/3 cup sections. This doesn't need to be exact,use as much or little dough for each pretzel as you would can make really large ones or small. It's up to you.

Roll the dough into a rope with an even diameter. Some of my ropes were 12 inches long and some were up to 20..the 12 inch ones will give you a thicker pretzel that you see in the two last photos. Once you have your long rope,shape into a pretzel and place onto prepared pan.

In a small bowl,beat the egg and brush the tops of each pretzel with the mixture. Sprinkle with salt,cinnamon/sugar or leave plain.

Bake for 10-15 mins and if you like,turn the oven to broil for the last 5 minutes to brown the tops. I skipped that step though and loved the pale beauties.

Allow to cool slightly and enjoy warm or room temp. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days ( they will lose their softness and to  be honest, ours didn't survive the morning). You can also freeze these!

Yield: 8-10 Pretzels
Source: Sally's Baking Addiction              

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