We just had two days of workshops here, with cheesemaking, soapmaking, and baking. One of the attendees at the baking day asked about homemade soft pretzels. I took up the challenge and here’s what I came up with–and they came out delicious!
Start with a batch of Grandmother Bread dough.
How to make Grandmother Bread:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups flour
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit five minutes. Stir in salt and first cup of flour with a heavy spoon. Add more flour a little at a time, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again.
Attendees at the baking workshop, playing with dough:
Divide dough in half, then divide each half again. Keep dividing until you have eight to ten pieces, depending on size pretzels desired. Shape into pretzels.
Set pretzels aside to rise slightly while bringing a pot of water to boil. Drop pretzels into pot, boiling several at a time, for about 30 seconds to a minute.
Drain then place on greased baking sheets.
Brush tops of pretzels with an egg wash. (Several egg whites and a little bit of water.) Sprinkle with coarse salt. (Or cinnamon sugar!)
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned–don’t overbake or they won’t be soft.
These turned out delicious and tasted–really!–just like pretzels! We were so proud.