I'll admit it, I am a soft pretzel junkie. I LOVE them. The warm bread, a little mustard...I'm in heaven. I have always wanted to make them but thought they were just too much work. Well, they are a little work, but they are worth it and really, it doesn't take that much time. See, I'll show you.
Easy Like a Sunday Morning Soft Pretzels
* 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
* 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 1 cup warm water
* 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
* Vegetable oil, for baking sheets
* 3 tablespoons baking soda
* 1 tablespoon coarse salt-again, I used sea salt
Mix yeast, coarse salt, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl, whisking until sugar dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Pour flour in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
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.
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.
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. I suggest using chopsticks to navigate your pretzels, I didn't and they didn't come out very pretty.
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. Do not put pretzels in tupperware or cover, they will get soggy. Trust me, they will not last longer than 12 hours. You will gobble them all up!
One thing that I did notice is that my pretzels were super thick! Definitely roll the dough to 18 inches+, unless you want big fatties. Also, mine didn't turn out the prettiest, but they were mighty tasty.
This is a very basic recipe, so go a little wild and try out different seasonings. Now I just need to find a mug of beer and some mustard.