Pretzels

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If you love big, soft, chewy pretzels, this is the recipe for you!  They’re straightforward to make, especially if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, and they’re delicious.

Original recipe

Pretzels
Adapted from Alton Brown

Yield: 10 large pretzels

For the dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115º F, or warm to the touch) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups (22 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 2 oz unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray, for coating bowl

For the bath:

  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda

For the topping:

  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel or other coarse 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.
  2. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined.
  3. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 4-5 minutes. (Alternatively, you can knead by hand until the dough is smooth.)
  4. Remove dough from bowl, clean bowl, and then oil it well with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
  5. Return dough to bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in a warm place for 50-55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 450ºF.  Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  7. Bring 10 cups of water and baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
  8. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 10 equal pieces.  (It’s easiest to weigh the dough and use kitchen shears to cut off appropriately-sized pieces.)
  9. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope (or longer, depending on how distinct you want the openings in the pretzel to be).
  10. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope.  Cross the ends over each other twice, and press them onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto parchment-lined half sheet pans.
  11. Place pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds.  Press them down into the water from time to time.
  12. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula.
  13. Return to the half sheet pans, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture, and sprinkle with pretzel or coarse salt.
  14. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12-14 minutes.
  15. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
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