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Soft Pretzels

An array of mustards -- ranging from spicy to sweet, smooth to grainy -- adds intrigue to these easy-to-make soft pretzels. Pretzel salt is available from Spice Barn.

  • Yield: Makes 12
Soft Pretzels

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2008

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast (1/4 ounce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Vegetable oil, for baking sheets
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pretzel salt
  • Assorted mustards, for serving

Directions

  1. Mix yeast, coarse salt, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl, whisking until sugar dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

  2. Mix flour and cayenne in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

  3. Slowly pour yeast mixture over flour mixture, stirring to combine. Using your hands, gather dough together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic, and let rise for 30 minutes.

  4. Cut dough into 12 pieces, and roll each into an 18-inch rope. Form a U shape with 1 rope, and twist ends together twice. Fold twisted portion backward along center of U shape to form a circle, then gently press ends of rope onto dough to seal. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, and repeat. Let rise for 20 minutes.

  5. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add baking soda. Boil pretzels in batches until puffed and slightly shiny, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to wire racks to drain. Return to baking sheet, sprinkle with pretzel salt, and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Pretzels will keep, uncovered, at room temperature for up to 12 hours. Rewarm in a 250-degree oven if desired, and serve with mustards.

Cook's Note

To save time, store-bought bread dough can be used in place of homemade; start at step 4.

Reviews (9)

  • poxmat 13 Dec, 2013

    good
    vida vacations grand bliss

  • JulieMeyer 23 Sep, 2012

    Fun to make. They were a little doughier than I expected, so next time I'll lower the oven temp and bake a little longer. The kids had fun helping and loved the hot bath they got before baking.

  • Josh Wilson 1 Aug, 2012

    I always love what you make Lucinda. These pretzels are awesome. I didn't let my first batch drain long enough after boiling. Second time was the time. These are delicious.

  • PeterPaul 5 Nov, 2011

    I made this with whole wheat sourdough bread and things turned out well. My dough was too thick and I used a convection bake instead of regular bake. The pretzels came out good and I still had enough left for my sausage mushroom whole wheat sourdough pizza.

    Next time I'll roll the dough thinner, turn down the boiling water to a simmer and use a conventional bake.

  • betsyrisch 28 Aug, 2011

    Bummer- same thing happened to me....the first one I boiled, COMPLETELY fell apart into several pieces. For the next ones, I shaped them into bagel-shape and that worked out ok.

  • alisaterry 28 Dec, 2008

    The trick to pretzels, I am finding, is to use a somewhat sticky dough and roll the ropes VERY thin. If I don't do them stringy enough, I usually end up with giant poofy knots instead of pretzel shapes. If the dough isn't somewhat sticky, they lose their shape in the water.

  • coolparkolay 11 Dec, 2008

    I made these pretzels and had a terrible time with the boiling water. They fell into pieces and I am not sure why. I make doughs quite a bit and would love some insight to what may have been the problem, because I do want to make them again.

  • UrthGuru 31 Oct, 2008

    This recipe was extremely simple. My brother has never made anything from scratch and he and I had a blast making these pretzels, and they were GOOD! To change it up from pretzel salt we also used some roasted minced garlic and some toasted sesame seeds on some.

  • UrthGuru 31 Oct, 2008

    This recipe was extremely simple. My brother has never made anything from scratch and he and I had a blast making these pretzels, and they were GOOD! To change it up from pretzel salt we also used some roasted minced garlic and some toasted sesame seeds on some.

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