Monday, February 20, 2012

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels

Review: It looks like a pretzel, it tastes like a pretzel, and its not that hard to make!

disclaimer before we start: That pretzel picture is pretty lame. They tasted good though. I'm sure I'll be making them again so hopefully I will eventually update this post with better pics.

A KitchenAid Mixer will change your life. For reals. A year ago I had never baked from scratch before. I was a box cake mix girl. As you might have noticed I now am completely obsessed with baking from scratch, most often its cupcakes, but its pretty much always dessert. As I pulled home made soft pretzels out of the oven it really hit me how much I've changed. A year ago pretzels were something that you bought- not something that you made. It really is all because of the KitchenAid that I got for Christmas 2010. I don't think I would have ever attempted all the different recipes I've made without it. I use it at least once a week now and it has become an essential part of my kitchen.

Anyways back to the Pretzels. Kevin and I decided on doing a low key Valentine's day, dinner at a local restaurant (nothing too fancy) and we decided to forgo the gifts. I couldn't just not do anything for him though, since he was taking me to dinner. Also I really love celebrating holidays, and love giving creative gifts. Kevin has a bit of a soft pretzel addiction, so I decided that I would make him some homemade ones.

Soft Pretzels
adapted from Alton Brown
yield: 8 pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
11 oz of whole wheat flour
11 oz of all purpose flour
2 oz of butter melted
vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp water
sea salt

Combine the water, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixed and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins of foam. Add the flour and the butter. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Removed the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it. Remove the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for approximately 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and coat with non stick spray.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in a 8 quart saucepan.

In the mean time turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece into a 20 inch rope. Twist into your favorite shape. For a classic pretzel make a U shape, cross the ends twice and then fold in half, pressing the ends into the bottom of the U.

Boil the pretzels one at a time for 30 seconds each. Remove from water and place on baking sheets. Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with alt. Bake until golden brown, approximately 12-14 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.

Pretzel making diagram via

 printable recipe with diagram

These were super yum! The original recipe didn't use wheat flour but I like to up the nutrition content and I had both flours on hand. These were super yum and they tasted like pretzels. (Ok so I know that's sort of a weird thing to say, but sometimes you make homemade things and they don't taste like their store bought counterparts. This did.) Kevin is now requesting that we use the pretzel dough to make mini pretzel pizzas. I don't see why that wouldn't work. I also want to make pretzel pigs in a blanket using small pieces of sausage and pretzel dough. I need to win the lottery so I can stay home all day and try new recipes. That would be heaven.

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