Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Spicy Soft Pretzels

For those of you who always wanted to make soft pretzels...thanks to Martha Stewart's recipe, now you can! It's a simple recipe, especially if you have a stand mixer. If not, follow Martha's directions here.

These are addictive, tasty snacks. I think it's because of the cayenne. My adaptation is spicier. Martha recommends mustard dips. I like them sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. You can make them savory or sweet!

Spicy Soft Pretzels
Makes 12 snack-sized pretzels

1/4 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp quick rise yeast
3 cups bread flour
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp butter, softened
3 tbsp baking soda

For seasoning:
1 tbsp coarse salt
1 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tbsp cinnamon sugar

Stir salt and sugar in 1 cup of warm water. Add yeast to a small bowl. Pour water into the bowl and wait five minutes until bubbling.

In a stand mixer, add flour and cayenne pepper, and stir. Add softened butter, and mix with a paddle mixer until incorporated. Add yeast mixture and mix until the dough comes together. Use a dough hook and mix for four minutes on medium speed. Form dough into a ball and put it in a large oiled bowl to rise. Takes about forty minutes to an hour to double.

Divide dough into 12 pieces. Form each piece into a boule and let the dough relax for ten minutes.

Roll each piece into an 18 inch rope, twist, and form into a pretzel shape.

Line two pans. Lightly brush with oil. You don't want to make the rookie mistake I made the first time of getting pretzels stuck on the pans.

They look nice, but it's a bad idea to not line the pans
Place on the sheets. They look small for now, but they get pretty big after the soda water treatment.

Let proof for twenty minutes in a warm room. They should look puffy. These are much spicier than Martha's--you can even see the cayenne in the dough.

Preheat the oven at 475 degrees. Boil half a pot of water in a large pot. Add baking soda. Boil pretzels in batches, one to two minutes per side. The pretzels double in size so keep the batches small.

Use a flat utensil with slots to lift the pretzels because any mark you leave will stay on when baking. Drain on a drying rack right side up until all pretzels are boiled.

The spoon lines are visible, but these pretzels are still delicious!

Sprinkle with coarse salt if you like them savory. Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes (Rotate pans after 10 minutes has passed). I usually do half savory and half sweet, but I forgot to salt the pretzels before they went in the oven so the salt didn't stay on as well.

If you like cinnamon sugar pretzels, brush them with butter when they come out of the oven and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Serve these right away. There may not be any left but if you do have left overs, they are just as delicious reheated. You can even pop them in the toaster. They're the perfect size for a snack!

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1 comment:

Lindsey said...

You've inspired me to make them this weekend for Phil, impressive again :-)

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