Thank you to everyone for all of the pointers for my Teach for America interview! I think it went well and I’ll hear from them on March 16th as to whether or not I’m invited to a final interview. I really hope that I get in! I think that I’d really do well in the program and I’d love to teach.
Anyway, the other night Kramer and I were bored and just hanging out, watching television. He had been bugging me to make pretzels for a while, and since he’s such a good helper in the kitchen, I suggested that we finally get around to making those pretzels, especially since my father-in-law got me a bread maker last year for Festivus. The whole process was extremely easy and the result was really tasty! I love soft pretzels, especially dipped in mustard. We even ate them with fried eggs (I will dip anything in egg yolk, I’ve said it over and over again). All we had to do was put all of the ingredients in the bread machine, then roll out the dough and twist them into various pretzel shapes. We got creative and made a bunch of different shaped pretzels, so this definitely something that kids (big and small) will have fun with as well. We only did salted pretzels since this was our first time making them, but I’d like to try Parmesan or poppy seeds or something like that.
Look at those simple ingredients.
Add in the ingredients in the following order: warm water, the butter, the sugar, the salt, the flour, and then make a well in the flour and add the yeast into it. You want to make sure that none of the liquid ingredients touch the yeast so it doesn’t activate too soon. Turn the machine to the dough setting and press start.
When the dough is done rising, remove it from the bread machine.
Lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough out to a rectangle.
Cut the dough into thin strips, about an inch wide, then cut all of the strips in half down the center of the strips (see above). If you want to make big pretzels, keep the strips long.
Roll the dough with your hands and twist into pretzel shapes or knots or braids or whatever you like.
Bring some water to a simmer and carefully place the pretzels in the water for 30 seconds on each side.
Remove them from the water and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with kosher salt or whatever other toppings you like.
Bake for 12-15 minutes at 425 degrees F until the pretzels are golden brown. Serve warm or cool. The pretzels will store well in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to a week.
Enjoy with some tasty mustard or a cold beer!
- 1⅓ cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package (2¼ teaspoons) dry yeast
- 6 cups of water
- 6 teaspoons of baking soda
- salt for topping
- Open up your bread machine. Place these ingredients in it in the following order: 1⅓ cup warm water, butter, white sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, flour, and then make a well in the flour and add in the yeast. Make sure that the yeast doesn't touch any of the liquid ingredients.
- Turn the machine to the dough setting. Alternately, you can use your hands instead of a convenient bread machine (although if you have the means, definitely get your hands on one). Combine the 1⅓ cup warm water, sugar, and salt in a large bowl (preferably of your stand mixer) and sprinkle the yeast into the bowl. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes or until everything is foaming. Add in the flour and butter and use your dough hook attachment to mix on low speed until well combined. Up it to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, get the largest bowl you own (clean the bowl you're currently using if that's it) and then oil it well with vegetable or canola oil. Place the dough in the oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap (not tin foil) and allow it to sit in a warm place for 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- When the dough is done rising, remove it from the bread maker or your oiled bowl and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface into a rectangle. Cut the dough into long or short thin strips, depending on whether or not you want to make big pretzels or small pretzels. Roll with your hands and form into pretzel shapes or whatever other shapes you want.
- Bring 6 cups of water to a simmer, then add 6 teaspoons of baking soda (if you need more, just add 1 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of water). When it dissolves, add in the pretzels in batches, for 30 seconds on each side. Remove from the water and place on a baking sheet with either parchment paper or sprayed lightly with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with salt or whatever other toppings you want.
- Bake the pretzels at 425 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Set on a rack to cool and enjoy! Makes about 25 small pretzels.