Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hot Pretzels

Nice picture, huh? My sister Gretchen came over on Sunday and we spent hours making recipes so she could photograph the food. We thought this was a great plan because 1) she gets a new genre of photograph to add to her portfolio, 2) I get better photos to use on my blog and eventually in a family cookbook I am creating through, and 3) we got to eat some of our favorite yummy foods, like these hot pretzels. I found this recipe on and it actually tastes a lot like the kind of hot pretzels you get at the mall. It was easier to make than you might think, and the result is so delicious. (The secret is to brush them with unsalted butter.) We dipped them in nacho cheese and honey mustard.

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup bread flour
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt

1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir in flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise for one hour.

2. Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8-inch square pan.

3. After dough has rise, cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3-foot rope, pencil thin or thinner. Twist into a pretzel shape, and dip into the baking soda solution. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt, or cinnamon sugar.