Homemade Pretzels

Mikki and I were flipping channels when we saw homemade pretzels on Diners and Dives. It sounded perfect for a sleepy winter weekend. So I made some pretzels, bought some bratwurst, relish and sauerkraut to enjoy some German tradition. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted then cooled unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water around 100F
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

Dip

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 quart of water

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar, butter, yeast, water and half the flour. Wait 5 minutes and then add kosher salt and remaining flour and mix. I used the dough hook on stand mixer for 8 minutes at a low speed until smooth and supple. Let the dough rest for 5 min, covered by kitchen towel. Then cut the dough into the number of pieces desired, I divided mine into 16 for smaller pretzels knots.
  2. To make the pretzel knots, roll each piece into a rope. Lift the ends, twist them around each other once and again then pressing the ends at 4 and 8 o’clock. Stretch the pretzels out as much as desired.
  3. Place the pretzel knots onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, give them some room to grow. Let them rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, covered with a kitchen towel, then in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. After 1 hour, bring 1 quart of water to a boil and add the baking soda, stir slowly and turn off the heat. Poach pretzels for 30 seconds on each side in solution. Use slotted spoon to transfer pretzels back to baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle pretzels with kosher or finishing salt and bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating tray once to get an even, dark color. Transfer to rack. Brush with some melted butter. Serve warm with some seeded mustard.

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