Although these are made with simple ingredients in full disclosure they are a bit labor intensive. The good news is not many people will go to the bother to make these, so if you serve them people will rave about them. These are a great item for an outdoor picnic, for an Octoberfest celebration or a Superbowl party. We have even served them at themed parties as they cost very little to make but you can shape them into something for your theme, for example, we did a cowgirl party and made the horseshoe-shaped. Brought to a summer concert in the shape of a G Clef. An added bonus is if you have children they will love forming the dough shapes themselves and since they can hold the finished pretzel easily in their little hands they will love eating them. Serve with honey mustard, beer cheese or queso!
1 and ½ Cup of Warm Water 110-115 Degrees F
1 Packet of Active Dry Yeast
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 and ¼ Tablespoon of Oil
1 Tablespoon of Sugar (You can use white or brown, I used white)
3 and a Half Cups of of All Purpose Flour
4 Tablespoons of Butter (Softened)
1 Egg Yolk Beaten
3 Tablespoons of Coarse Sea Salt
½ Cup of Baking Soda (This is for the pretzel bath do not add to the flour)
Test the temperature of your water, once you have it between 110-115 degrees F you can add the sugar and salt.
Mix it together and then add the yeast, there is no need to mix the yeast in, just let it sit right on top.
Let this sit for approximately 5 minutes until you see the yeast form and bubble on the top.
Once the yeast is doing what it is supposed to do, you are ready to work with the flour.
In your stand mixer outfitted with the dough hook, add the flour, butter, and your yeast mixture.
Mix on low speed and then medium until your dough separates from the sides of the mixing bowl (turn off the mixer if it starts bouncing around.
Finish kneading the dough by hand by digging into it with your fingers, rolling it around, shaping it like a ball, and punching it down with your hands (total time to knead with mixer and hand is 4 minutes).
Clean the bowl and dry it, then coat the inside of the bowl with a tablespoon of the vegetable oil reserving the ¼ tablespoon for your cutting board surface.
Add your dough to the oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, place in a warm spot and allow the dough to rise for 55 minutes.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Wait 15 minutes for your dough to be ready.
Fill a large pot with water and set to a boil. Add the baking soda slowly to the pot in small amounts.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
When the dough is ready, put the oil you reserved onto a cutting board and divide it into workable pieces, depending on the size and shape of the pretzels you want to make. The shape is up to you but the important thing is to keep them consistent on each baking sheet that you will be working with.
As you form each pretzel lay it on the baking sheet.
When you have filled your sheets, carry them to the pot of boiling water and one by one drop them carefully in the water bath for 30 seconds each.
As you pull them out with your spatula, place them back onto the baking sheet.
Bring the filled baking sheets back to your work area and brush on the egg yolk and coarse sea salt.
Bake for 8-10 minutes depending on the size of your pretzels.