Anyone who knows me understands my relationship with baking. I absolutely adore it. My husband goes mad when he’s resisting temptacious treats because my baking is just that good. I’m totally kidding- it can go horribly wrong.. but on occasions I will create some masterpiece in the kitchen and this time it was pretzels.
Have you ever visited New York? Well if you have I’m sure you saw the many street vendors with their delicious buttery salty pretzels. Oooooh take me back. I had a craving for these the other day and decided to try my hand at making some.
I found the recipe on allrecipes.com and I’ll leave a direct link to it here. I did mix it up a bit as I wanted to make some sweet pretzels as well as savoury.
Firstly you will need:
- 1 7g sachet of dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon white caster sugar
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (I did 3/4 a cup hot out a kettle and the rest cold)
- 5 cups all-purpose flour (I used strong white)
- 1/2 cup white caster sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 4 cups hot water
A husband on hand to do the kneading
Preheat your oven to gas mark 8 (230 degrees c) and line two baking tray sheets with greaseproof paper. You are ready.
Let’s get started. In a bowl, empty the sachet of yeast, pop in a teaspoon of sugar and mix in 1 1/4 cup of warm water. Put this aside and leave to stand for about 10 minutes – it should go a thicker consistency but don’t worry if it doesn’t.
While leaving that to thicken get yourself a large bowl. In the large bowl add the flour, 1/2 cup of sugar and your 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Make a well in the centre of this mound and add your oil and yeast mixture. This should begin to form your dough. I found that my mixture initially looked a bit dry and non dough like. So I made up some extra warm water in a cup and kept adding this in slowly until I was happy with the texture. It should feel heavy and smooth. Not wet! Add your water in slowly as too much and you’ll have a slippery dough and nobody likes that.
Now it’s time to knead a bit, I needed for about 10 minutes but I’m sure you could get away with 5. If you have any aggression issues, now is the time to let them out. Or in my case, do it for a while then a friend to step in who loves boxing the dough.
Once your dough is nice and kneaded, oil a bowl and pop the dough into the bowl. I then covered with cling film and left on a window ledge (with the sun) to rise for about an hour.
If you want to mix up your dough a little, I then took the same recipe, halved it and added a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder. I left to rise in the same way as the plain dough.
When these have just about doubled in size begin preparing for the pretzel making. I dissolved the baking soda with warm-hot water (cool enough to be able to put my hands in) and put this in a casserole style dish for dipping the pretzels into.
Roll your dough out into long sausage like shapes and begin googling the wonderful shapes you can make with dough. Or like me go for a basic! (Sausage becomes a U shape, then take the two strands and wrap round twice and pull down to make pretzel). There are youtube videos or many pictures on google for this should you need them – here is the one I used.
I you opted to make two doughs, roll two sausages along side each other and intertwine them by wrapping them around each other. (You can add chocolate chips if you like them super sweet) Then press gently on them and roll a little. They will form one dough to which you can then make your pretzel shape. It’s easy I promise! Here’s a photo of Joe doing it.
Now you are ready to dip! submerge your pretzel in the baking soda solution and place onto your baking tray. Same applies to the sweet pretzels but ignore the next step.
Take some rock salt and sprinkle over the pretzels whilst they’re still wet.
Pop these into the oven for about 8-10 minutes until golden. Et Voila! Delicious Pretzels, easy to make and suitable for both savoury and sweet tooths!