This is a recipe I’ve used many times and turn to for a “quick” and easy pretzel. I say quick because it requires one rise which takes an hour and an additional 20 minutes after that. Not too shabby for a bread dough. This dough is soft, a little bit chewy and very versatile. When I make a batch of this dough I like to make three things with it: traditional knot-shaped pretzels, pretzel rolls and pretzel-dogs (reminiscent of the “Wetzel Dog” that Troy and I are fond of). This provides some snacking material, and dinner once with the rolls (pretzel burgers!!!) and one meal of pretzel dogs. The rolls and pretzels are best the first day but the pretzel dogs are excellent re-heated. I never waste leftovers of any of them though (although best the first day they are still pretty tasty after that, they just tend to get a bit “soggy” from the butter wash).
If you like the pretzels you buy while wandering your local mall give these a try, they are very similar! In fact the recipe I adapted these from was called Mall Pretzels. And feel free to be creative with your toppings! Traditionally, these are brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with coarse salt right after coming out of the oven, but they are awesome with cinnamon-sugar sprinkled over the butter, finely chopped almond and sugar, garlic and salt or even poppy seeds. I tend to stick with just butter on the hot dogs as they are salty enough on their own.
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bread flour
- Canola or Vegetable oil
- 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 2 tbsp. baking soda
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp. coarse kosher salt
- Hot Dogs (If making pretzel dogs- i ONLY use Nathan’s- they are my favorite.)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix 1 ½ cups warm water and brown sugar, stirring with a spoon to dissolve (make sure you get the temperature of the water right or you will a) kill the yeast if it’s too hot or b) the yeast won’t bloom).
- Sprinkle the yeast over the top and lightly stir.
- Allow yeast to bloom about 5 minutes, undisturbed.
- Stir in the salt and both flours with the dough hook on low speed until the dough forms and begins to stick to the hook.
- Dump the dough onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle flour on the dough, board and on your hands as needed to prevent sticking.
- Using a paper towel spread a thin layer of the oil on the inside of a large bowl
- Form into a ball and place in greased bowl and turn to coat the surface.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for one hour or until doubled in volume (approximately, it may not quite double and that is fine).
- Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8 inch square pan. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or with silicone non-stick mats. The number of sheets you need will depend on how large you make your pretzels.
- After dough has risen, cut into 12 even pieces using a bench scarper.
- Roll each piece into a 2-3 foot rope, about pencil thin (or thinner if you prefer- i like mine on the smaller side).*
- Twist into pretzel shapes or wrap around hot dogs
- Alternately, form dough into balls for rolls, pulling the dough tight over the surface of each ball down towards the bottom of each roll.
- Dip each pretzel, roll or pretzel dog into the baking soda solution and place onto parchment covered baking sheets, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes. For pretzel dogs, put with the ends of the dough facing down so they don’t curl up while baking (although it doesn’t matter that much if they do).
- If making rolls, put a slit across the top of each with a sharp knife after the second rise.
- Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F with the racks in the center position while the dough rises.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. You can also check the temperature with an instant read thermometer- it should be about 190 degrees
- Brush with melted butter and your desired toppings immediately after removing from the oven.
*Another note- when rolling out the dough if you find that it is difficult to get to your desired length, roll each piece out to half of it’s desired length and let rest while you do the same with the rest of the pieces. By the time you get through, the first one will have “relaxed” enough to be rolled out further more easily.