Our local county fair was last week. Since I no longer have a young child I rarely go to the fair. Occasionally with a friend or my husband and that’s just to check out the animals, see some of the projects/contests and, of course, for the food.
I work right next to the fairgrounds. The A/C is soooo cold at work I have my window open all summer and even run my heater…a lot! Soooo, I smell that delicious fair food all day long for a week straight. Torture, I tell you! I couldn’t find anyone to go with me and just get food, they all had kids and wanted to stay there. I didn’t want to go in with them, eat and say “Bye, gotta’ go!” so I went without my fair food but, my craving was still strong.
I came across this recipe and it totally satisfied my craving and better yet it’s homemade, I didn’t have to pay $8 for a pretzel. Because this is baking I didn’t change hardly a thing in this recipe. I don’t mess with that, I’m not a baker. A double plus, my husband and a friend really liked these…yay!! If you’re from my area…think Hot Sam’s, oh those pretzels were so delicious! So, let’s get baking some homemade buttery pretzels.
For the dough:
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. sugar
1 package instant yeast
7/8 to 1 cup lukewarm water (the amount depends on the humidity of your kitchen)
For the topping:
1/2 c. warm water
1 T. baking soda
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
3 T. unsalted butter, melted
Combine all the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix with the paddle attachment until somewhat combined (or just mix by hand with a wooden spoon). Change to the dough hook and knead on medium low for 5 minutes. The dough should feel soft and smooth, not sticky. (I don’t have a stand mixer, I kneaded by hand and 5 minutes was perfect).
Lightly dust the dough with flour, then place in a ziploc bag and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Remove the dough from the bag and place onto the counter top. Cut the dough into 8 pieces, and let rest for 5 minutes.
(Yes, this picture shows 7 pieces, I had one in my hand as I took the pic ;) No fear).
In the meantime, whisk to combine the warm water and baking soda and cook in the microwave for 1 minute. Keep whisking to dissolve.
Roll each dough ball into an approximate 20 inch rope and form into a pretzel shape (or whatever shape you choose).
Roll each piece of pretzel into the soda wash and place onto the greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, then let set for 10 minutes.
Bake for about 7-9 minutes until the pretzels are golden brown. Brush the pretzels with the melted butter while they’re hot out of the oven.
Enjoy while they are hot. Heat up some dipping cheese to make them even more splendid. Mmmm!
Yield: 8 pretzels
Recipe slightly adapted from Fifteen Spatulas.