Classic Soft Pretzels
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 3 cups hot water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- Coarse salt* (optional)
Preparation time 25mins
Cooking time 85mins
Adapted from bhg.com
In a small saucepan heat and stir milk, the 1/4 cup water, and the sugar over low heat until warm (110 degrees F to 115 degrees F). Pour into the large bowl of an electric mixer that has a dough hook. Sprinkle with yeast; let stand about 5 minutes or until foamy. Add 2 1/3 cups of the flour, the butter, and the 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Using the electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, beat on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat on medium-low speed for 8 to 10 minutes or until a soft dough forms. (The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl but still be slightly sticky. If it is too sticky, beat in the additional flour.)
2. Turn out dough onto a clean, dry work surface. Knead a few times by folding and pressing dough, turning dough to knead uniformly; shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet; set aside.
4. Punch down dough. Turn out onto a clean, dry work surface. Divide dough into eight portions. Roll and stretch each portion into a 30-inch-long rope. (If the dough seems tight and does not want to stretch, cover and let rest about 10 minutes or until it relaxes.)
5. To shape each pretzel, form each rope into a U-shape. Cross the ends over each other twice, then lift the ends across to the bottom of the U-shape (to form a pretzel shape); press to seal.
6. In a deep bowl or pot slightly larger than each pretzel stir together the 3 cups hot water and the baking soda. Using a slotted spoon, lower pretzels, one at a time, into baking soda mixture for 10 seconds. Remove pretzels and place on paper towels to blot the bottoms dry. Arrange pretzels 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
7. In a small bowl combine egg yolk and the 1 tablespoon cold water. Brush pretzels with egg yolk mixture. If desired, sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool slightly on a wire rack; serve warm.