Editor’s note: Rachel Candelaria has long had an interest in food and photography, showcased on her blog, Not Just Sweets, which she describes “as a chronicle of my culinary adventures in the kitchen”. She’s given InMenlo permission to highlight some of her musings and photos from time to time.
Snacks and watching football go hand-in-hand, so why not cook up some hot, fresh pretzels for your Super Bowl party this Sunday? If you have many guests coming over, use a sharp knife to cut the rope of dough into squares for pretzel bites. Delicious!
From start to finish these pretzels take about two hours to make and since they are best hot out of the oven so you’ll want to plan your time accordingly.
Homemade Soft Pretzels
From Alton Brown’s Food Network recipe
Yield: 8 pretzels
Prep: 30 minutes
Inactive: 1 hour
Cook: 25 minutes
– 1 1/2 cups warm (110-115 degrees) water
– 1 tablespoon sugar
-2 teaspoons kosher salt
– 1 package active dry yeast
– 22 ounces all purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
– 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
– Vegetable oil for pan
– 10 cups water
– 2/3 cup baking soda
– 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
– Pretzel salt
1. Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined.
2. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
4. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
5. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
6. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes.
Photo by Rachel Candelaria