I am not a baker, by any means. And I am sure you can tell by the picture. While the pretzels look as delicious as they taste, it is clear I am not an artisan 😉
But I do enjoy doing it every now and then, and one thing I always wanted to make was pretzels. But, believe me, they can be ridiculously difficult or just don’t seem to go right. I tried quite a few recipe from various books and websites, and I have settled on this one. It is fast, easy, and fool proof (read: me-proof). The good news is, I have a few days to practice my style before the Super Bowl!
Easiest Soft Pretzels (makes 6-10 depending on your size preference)
- 1 1/2 cups luke warm water (1 cup of room temperature water, 1/2 cup of hot water)
- 1 packet of dried yeast
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- coarse salt (to sprinkle pretzels)
- 4 cups of plain flour (plus extra for rolling and kneading)
For the water bath
- 4 cups water
- 2 tbsp baking soda
Preheat the oven to 220C (425F) and line a baking sheet with parchment
Dissolve yeast into the water, it may need a few stirs
Add sugar and salt and stir until combined
Leave for a minute or two until small white bits of foam appear (it looks more like a film than foam, it’s small bubbles)
In the meantime bring the water and baking soda bath to a simmer.
Add the flour one up at a time. I found it was easier to whisk in the first two cups, and then mix the last two with my hands (a spoon is probably fine)
The dough should be soft but when you poke it it will bounce back quickly.
Flour a flat surface and knead for another minute or so.
Form a small ball and cut out a chunk as wide as two fingers
Roll the dough in your hands until it becomes a long stringy rope. The longer the rope, the bigger your pretzel. Mine were about a foot long
*this part I am bad at* twist into a pretzel shape. Don’t worry they will taste good no matter your technique
One at a time place the un-cooked pretzels into the water-baking soda bath for 30 seconds each, then transfer to the baking sheet.
Sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake for 15 minutes, then switch the oven to broil and cook for a further 5 minutes.