Ooooh they were good. They were very good indeed. Being that we don’t live in America, and soft pretzels are not something I have ever seen here in New Zealand, my only reason for giving these a go was because when I used to live in the States, on the odd occasion where I indulged, I do recall the soft bounce of the dough as you took a bite and the crunch of the rock salt on top, and thought these would be fun to try. Plus I was fairly certain my kiddos would love them! Paired with a cheesy dipping sauce, or honey mustard, or whatever your poison and these beauties make a wonderful weekend snack! They are best made first thing in the morning, giving the dough time to rise before boiling and baking.
They are a hoot to make with the kids – Miss 4 looooved rolling the dough and as soon as her wee hands touched it, she started giggling. I think there is something magical for kids and the tactile nature of making bread related goods. Don’t shy away from letting them help.
Pretzels are definitely best enjoyed on the day they’re made, so invite some friends round, put on a movie or a sports game and tuck into these together.
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
5 to 6 cups plain white flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 large egg
Coarse or pretzel salt
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
Pour warm water into bowl of electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Combine the water and sugar, stirring to dissolve. Sprinkle with yeast, and let sit 10 minutes until yeast is foamy.
Add 1 cup flour to yeast, and mix on low until combined. Add salt and 4 cups of flour, and mix until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium-low until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup flour, and knead on low for 1 minute more. If dough is still wet and sticky, add 1/2 cup more flour (this will depend on weather conditions); knead until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a lightly floured board, and knead about 10 times, or until smooth.
Pour oil into a large bowl; swirl to coat sides. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to completely cover all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel, and leave in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size. (I like to put mine in the hot water cupboard)
Heat oven to 230° C. Lightly spray two baking trays with cooking spray. Set aside. Punch down dough to remove bubbles. Transfer to a lightly floured board. Knead once or twice, divide evenly into 16 pieces, and wrap in plastic.
Roll one piece of dough at a time into an 40-centrimetre-long strip. Twist into pretzel shape; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel. Continue to form pretzels; 8 will fit on each sheet. Let pretzels rest until they rise slightly, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill large, shallow pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add baking soda. Reduce to a simmer; transfer 3 to 4 pretzels to water. Poach 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pretzels to baking tray. Continue until all pretzels are poached.
Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush pretzels with egg glaze. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, or eat warm. Pretzels are best when eaten the same day, but will keep at room temperature, uncovered, for 2 days. Do not store in covered container or they will become soggy.
Serve with this delicious cheese dip
Source: Martha Stewart