Anytime we go to the mall, which is not that often, my husband has to get a pretzel at Auntie Anne’s or Pretzel Time. It’s like the trip would be ruined or incomplete if we do not get one. I like to roll my eyes and act like he is so ridiculous, but really, I love them, too. The place is irresistible just walking past it with that yeasty dough smell.
They are so yummy. So soft and golden and the salt is perfect. They are the best. You could put a little sugar and cinnamon on them for a sweet treat and dip in a cream cheese icing. Whatever makes you happy.
It’s a good thing that I came across this recipe. It was surprisingly easy and I will most definitely make them more often as a treat for my guy. They hardly take any time to bake and the steps are minimal.
This is such a great snack for a movie night or birthday party. The recipe makes six large pretzels, so more than enough for my crew.
I found the yummy cheese-mustard sauce on a blog that had made some pretzel bites. It is so good. I used white extra-sharp cheddar. Talk about perfection. I did not measure the ingredients and it still turned out perfect.
They are so pretty once they have been dipped into butter and are laying out to cool off…so shiny and golden. OH MY!!
Almost-Famous Soft Pretzels
1 Cup Milk
2 1/4 Teaspoons Dry Active Yeast
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar (Light is Preferable)
2 1/4 Cups Flour
10 Tablespoons Unsalted Buter
1 Teaspoon Fine Salt
1/3 Cup Baking Soda
Course Sea Salt
Warm the milk in a saucepan until it’s about 110 degrees; pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon. Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften; stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. (If the dough seems tight, cover and let rest until it relaxes.) Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape. Dip your fingers in water to press the ends into the bottom of shape.
Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, (THIS HELPS GIVE THEM THE GOLDEN SHEEN WITHOUT MAKING IT HARD.) then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse sea salt. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish. Dip the hot pretzels in the butter, turning to coat; place on a wire rack to let excess butter drip off. Serve the pretzels warm with sauce (recipe below).
1 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 -1 Tablespoon Flour (I used a heaping 1/2 TBSP.)
2/3 Cup Milk
6 Ounces Cheddar (I used extra-sharp white cheddar.)
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour and stir until soaked up by butter. Slowly add in milk to dissolve flour mixture. Once completely dissolved, add the cheese. Once completely melted and smooth add the mustard. Stir until combined and serve with pretzels.