Homemade Soft Pretzels

Homemade Soft Pretzels - One Punky Mama

While walking through the farmers market the other day I stopped to admire the little Amish girls making soft pretzels. They really make it look easy, but the price tag of $3.95 for one pretzel made me keep walking. How difficult can making homemade soft pretzels really be? Well,  let me warn you about the art of stretching and slapping pretzel ropes — it is not at ALL as easy as those darling girls make it look. Chances are, you may be swearing and smashing pretzels by the end of this recipe. Stay strong, oh baker! You can do it.

You can also brush melted butter and/or garlic over these babies when they’re done, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Homemade Soft Pretzels
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  1. 1 cup milk (or 1/3 cup dry milk & 1 cup warm water)
  2. 1 package active dry yeast
  3. 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  4. 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter – softened
  6. 1 teaspoon fine salt
  1. 1/3 cup baking soda
  2. 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  1. If using liquid milk: warm in a saucepan until around 110 degrees (like warm bath water but not scalding) If using dry milk and warm water, add dry milk to ingredients and proceed below.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, yeast and fine salt (and dry milk, if applicable) into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. With mixer on low speed, add softened butter and warm water/milk. Knead until dough is smooth but still a bit sticky. You may have to add a bit more flour until it comes together.
  3. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large baking sheet.
  6. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto surface for kneading. (I found NOT using a flour covered surface works better here because flour makes the dough too hard to shape – YMMV)
  7. Divide the dough into 6 pieces.
  8. (Here is where I fail) Roll and stretch each piece into a roughly 30-inch rope, whacking the rope onto the counter as you stretch. Just be careful, don’t expect perfection or you’ll be ready to throw this out the window.
  9. Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow pan.
  10. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt.
  11. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
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