CARAMEL APPLE SOFT PRETZELS
- 1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
- 2 TBS. Sugar
- 2 1/2 TBS. Dry Actie Yeast (1 pkg)
- 2 Tsp. Salt
- 4 1/2 Cups + 1 TBS. Flour
- 6 TBS. Melted Butter
- 1 1/2 Cups Diced Apples
- 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
- 3 qts. Water
- 3/4 Cup Baking Soda
- 1 egg + 1 TBS water
- Caramel Topping
- Course Sea Salt
Place the warm water, sugar and 2 tsp. salt in a bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Let it foam for 5 minutes.
Using the dough hook, mix in the flour (4 1/2 C) a little at a time along with the melted butter. On low speed mix until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, approximately 5-6 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl, spray the bowl with non stick spray, then place the dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the apples into small chunks, toss the apples with the cinnamon, nutmeg and 1 TBS. flour. After the dough has doubled, pour the apples into the dough and knead to combine.
Preheat the oven to 450*. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray, Set aside.
Bring the 3 qts. of water and the baking soda to a boil in a large pot.
Dump the dough out onto a slightly floured work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces or 16 for smaller pretzels.
Spray a work surface with nonstick spray. Roll out each piece into a long rope (24" for large 12" for smaller pretzels) The apples will pop out but keep rolling and you will incorporate them back in.
Make a U shape with the rope, take the ends and cross them over each other twice, then press onto the bottom of the U to form a pretzel.
Put the pretzels into the boiling water ONE AT A TIME, for 30 seconds.
Remove from water using 1-2 large spatulas. Put onto the parchment covered cookie sheet. Brush each one with the beaten egg and water wash mixture.
Bake until dark golden brown, 12-14 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for at least 15 minutes before drizzling with caramel and sea salt.