In less harsh terms- remember 6th grade math? Remember how hard it was at the time and now you use that skill set every Sunday to see how much money you spent Saturday night? That’s how these pretzels are… the first time you make them you’re going to be pretty upset with me. You will also be convinced they will not come out right.
AND THEN THEY WILL COME OUT AMAZING AND BE THE GREATEST THING TO TOUCH YOUR LIPS. You will instantly block the memory of how rough they were to make and make them again. But this time it won’t be so hard… and the next time it will be even easier… and before you know it you can whip these out no problem and you will be thanking me on the regs for giving you the gift of this recipe.
Recipe inspired by Food Network Magazine.
Things you will need to achieve warm buttery goodness:
• 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
• 1 package active dry yeast
• 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar (I used dark)
• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter softened, plus more for greasing
• 1 teaspoon fine salt
• 1/3 cup baking soda
• 2 tablespoons salt (I used maldon)
Warm the milk in a saucepan to 110 degrees F (right like I have a thermometer for this…. Just warm up the milk until it’s warmish and you’ll be fine).
Pour into a bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let soften for two minutes (I would spend this time looking at other recipes on this blog).
Using a wooden spoon stir in the brown sugar and one cup of the flour.
Dice two tablespoons of the butter (hard to do if soften just kinda cut it up the best you can) and stir into the mixture. Add 0.25 cups of flour and fine salt and stir until you have a nice and sticky dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. I had to add a legit amount of flour so don’t freak out if you do too. If you’ve made it this far you are KILLING IT and GREAT JOB.
Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour. You could spend this time making a dipping sauce for them if you want to get really hardcore.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate it (love this part), then turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide the dough into 6 pieces. I weighed each piece to make sure they would be the same size which in retrospect was completely futile.
You are going to want to pull these into the shape of a pretzel but really you have to roll each piece with the palms of your hand and hold each end of the rope slapping the middle on the counter as you stretch. Then form into a pretzel shape.I did not start doing this until partway through making these and consequently they looked ridiculous. This doesn’t change how great they end up tasting.
Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt of your choice. I used Maldon Sea Salt I got from the spice store in Old Town- wooo! Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. I know it seems crazy to have to give a pretzel a bath but this is how it gets that great color.
Melt the remaining butter in a shallow dish. Brush the hot pretzels with the butter or dip in the butter, turning to coat; place on a wire rack to let excess butter drip off.
These taste infinity better warm and I strongly recommend eating at least one right out of the oven to partake in the full out of body experience that is eating these pretzels.