Yummy home made soft pretzels

In New York they call them Pretzels, in Wien Brezeln…anyway, whatever the name, they always taste great! I love them with some mustard and a big cold glass of Weizen Bier (yep, it’s a particular kind of German beer and matches perfectly with this soft, salty tidbit!).This time I didn’t use any food processor…just my hands and a wooden spoon! If you prefer though you can use a mixer fitted with the paddle, but make sure not to overmix the dough. There’s just one flaw…Brezeln will keep for up to half a day, so you have to eat them quickly…or invite some friends over!

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Ingredients

  • 1 package dry active yeast (1/4 ounce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110°F/36°C)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pretzel salt
  • Assorted mustards, for serving

Directions

  1. Mix yeast, coarse salt, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl, whisking until sugar dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Put flour in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Slowly pour yeast mixture over flour mixture, stirring to combine. Using your hands, gather dough together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic, and let rise for 30 minutes.
  4. Cut dough into 12 pieces, and roll each into an 18-inch rope. Form a U shape with 1 rope, and twist ends together twice. Fold twisted portion backward along center of U shape to form a circle, then gently press ends of rope onto dough to seal. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, and repeat. Let rise for 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add baking soda. Boil pretzels in batches until puffed and slightly shiny, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to wire racks to drain. Return to baking sheet, sprinkle with pretzel salt, and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Pretzels will keep, uncovered, at room temperature for up to 12 hours. Rewarm in a 250-degree oven if desired, and serve with mustards.
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