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Game Day Pretzels

June 12, 2011

I’ve never really been a huge hockey fan but there’s something about play-off hockey that draws me in, and for the past few months we’ve been closely following the Vancouver Canucks as they get oh so (yell at the TV, and feel almost too anxious to watch) close to the Stanley Cup!

It’d be interesting to know just how much weight this country’s gained drinking beer and eating “playoff ”  food!  One more win and we can all get back to actually eating dinner together at the table and enjoying the great weather outside!

One more win boys, we know you can do it!

Go Canucks Go!

Soft, chewy pretzels with some spicy mustard or gooey cheese sauce make for the perfect game day snack!  Also a great way to involve the kids in the kitchen, my kids love having a rope of dough to shape into something creative!

I’ve posted a pretzel recipe here before, and it was good. But these pretzels are REALLY good. The secret to getting these pretzels so perfectly browned and chewy is a whole lot of baking soda in the boiling water that they take a dip in before they’re baked.

I know you’ll enjoy these just as much as we do 🙂

Pretzels

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast (or 1 pkg)
  • 3 1/2 -4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp water
  • Coarse salt for topping pretzels.  I used a small sprinkle of fleur de sel

Mix the warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl, or in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.

Add 3 1/2 cups of the flour, salt and melted butter.  Begin to knead the mixture, adding flour until the dough is soft and smooth.  Continue to knead for 4-5 minutes.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise, covered in a draft free area until doubled in bulk.  Usually about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line baking pans with parchment paper.  (these WILL stick the pan without parchment or a silpat liner)

Bring water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot on the stove.  Be sure to use the full amount of baking soda, it really helps achieve the chewy texture!  (be careful if you are adding soda once water is already boiling….add a little bit at a time so your water doesn’t bubble over and make a HUGE mess…speaking from experience!)

Gently deflate the dough and divide it into 8 portions.

Roll each portion of dough into a rope roughly 18″ long.

If you’re not sure how to twist a pretzel, just google an image  “how to twist a pretzel” and you can find a diagram.  I tried to draw a diagram for you but it’s easier to do it than to draw it!

Once pretzels are formed, place two at a time in the pot of boiling water and baking soda for about 30 seconds.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pretzels to your prepared baking pan.

Brush each pretzel with the water/egg yolk mixture and sprinkle with salt.

Bake pretzels for 15-20 minutes, rotating pans half way through the baking time.  Remove from the oven when the pretzels turn a deep golden brown.

Enjoy!

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