I don't ever post much about baking, but I love it. Another thing I love? Bread. Luckily I found this super easy recipe for soft pretzels. Hey, you could even convince yourself that they're somewhat healthy because of minimal ingredients! (I do, and I regret nothing.)
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 Tbsp honey
1 cup rye flour (I used wheat instead)
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour + 1/2 cup for kneading
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 cup baking soda (for bath)
Sea salt, or other coarse salt (for finishing)
• In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Add honey, then stir in the flours and salt.
• Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead in about 1/2 cup of all purpose flour until the dough is tacky, soft, and supple (around 10 minutes).
• Brush a clean bowl with melted butter (or use oil if you want them vegan). Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a towel until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
• While the dough is rising, heat your oven to 450 degrees and oil or butter 2 baking sheets.
• Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured board and divide it into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a thin log with tapered edges about 17 inches long, and form into the classic pretzel shape. Place them on the oiled baking sheets and let rise for 15-20 minutes.
• Meanwhile, fill your biggest, widest pot with water (I used a 4qt pot). Once the pretzels are proofed and the water is boiling, add the baking soda. Be careful, the water will bubble rapidly when you add the soda.
• To poach the pretzels, gently place them in the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds on each side. Pat off any excess water and transfer back to the baking sheets. Sprinkle with sea salt.
• Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking. The pretzels should be dark/golden brown in color.
• Transfer to a rack or plate to cool and eat warm, with mustard or cheese (beer cheese please). Try to resist eating all of them in one sitting.
ps — These would probably be good topped with cinnamon sugar instead of sea salt.
pps — Next time, I might try adding rosemary to the dough and topping with parmesan when they exit the oven. (yummo)
Recipe adapted from Apt 2B Baking Co.