My other pretzel recipe was Alton Brown's -- and it was really good. But this recipe is a bit quicker to make, it had brown sugar (which I hoped meant a sweeter pretzel), and it gets raves on the cooking message board I frequent.
Plus, DH wants pretzels. All. The. Time. :-)
While I don't think it was much sweeter than Alton's, I do think it was quite tasty. I'd make either one, but I think I prefer this one because it has a slightly less "yeasty" flavor.
The only thing I added to Amber's recipe was a light egg wash before baking the pretzels, so they'd come out nice and dark brown and a bit crisp on top.
Pretzels (Part Deux)
(Original recipe from Amber)
(Amber says this makes 20 pretzels -- I only got 10 out of it!)
1/8 cup hot water
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
Coarse kosher salt
Butter or shortening (to grease cookie sheets)
Vegetable oil (to grease counter)
1 egg, beaten + 1 tbsp water (to brush the pretzels with before baking)
- In a large bowl, mix together 1/8 cup hot water and 1 package active dry yeast until the yeast dissolves.
- Stir in the 1 1/3 cup warm water and 1/3 cup brown sugar and continue stirring until the brown sugar dissolves.
- Slowly add 4 cups of flour, stirring constantly (I used my Kitchenaid mixer and the kneading attachment for this -- worked great)
- Continue stirring the mixture until it is smooth and does not stick to the sides of the bowl
To continue by hand: flour the counter lightly, and flour your hands. Knead the dough until it is stretchy and smooth (push it down and away from you with the palms of your hands, turning the dough as you work)
To continue using your mixer and kneading attachment: continue kneading your dough at speed 2 until the dough appears stretchy and smooth (about 3-4 minutes for me)
- Lightly oil your counter (Amber says to flour your counter -- Alton said to oil. I find the oil allows you to roll the pretzel more easily, so I used that)
-Grease your cookie sheets (I used 2) generously with butter or shortening. It is very important that you grease the cookie sheets well!
- Sprinkle greased cookie sheets with kosher salt.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees Farenheit.
-Using a liquid measuring cup, fill a large saucepan at least 1/2 full of water. For each 1 cup of water you add, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
- Divide the dough into 4 even pieces, and shape them like a pretzel (You can also make pretzel sticks -- Roll out 2-3" long ropes of dough and leave as is)
- Bring the water and baking soda in the saucepan to a gentle boil.
- Using a pancake turner, or a large spatula, gently lower each pretzel into the water one-by-one -- counting slowly to 30 before removing the pretzel from the water and placing it on the cookie sheet.
- Repeat until all pretzels are done.
- When all pretzels have been boiled, lightly brush each pretzel with the egg+1 tbsp water mixture, then sprinkle with more kosher salt.
- Bake for 8 minutes, or until the pretzels are golden.
- I baked half my pretzels with no salt, and when they came out of the oven, dipped them in melted butter and cinnamon-sugar mixture to make cinnamon sugar pretzels. YUM!
Oh, and P.S. -- there are no pictures with this -- they looked exactly like my other pretzel recipe. Trust me :-)