October came and went in the blink of an eye, and now it’s time for Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This past month, I was assigned to food.baby.life. which is written by Susan, a business owner and mum of 3 who lives in Australia. Her newest bundle of joy, a 3rd boy, was just welcomed to the world last week!! Congratulations Susan!! As I was reading through her blog, so many of her recipes looked absolutely amazing! I saved about a dozen and started paring down from there. Scotch Eggs were at the top of the list for a while, mostly because I was intrigued, since they aren’t something you see often around here. But, in the end, these pretzels won because homemade soft pretzels are something I’ve been wanting to try for a while now that I just haven’t been able to justify making, so SRC seemed to give me the perfect reason to finally make them! This recipe was incredibly easy to follow and it produced some pretty delicious pretzels. Paired with a bottle of beer, they were the perfect “Oktoberfest” treat! Since there are only 2 of us, and I made these pretzels on a random night when nobody else would be over, I froze the rest for future use.
1 1/2 cups Warm Water (110-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
2 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
4 1/2 cups Flour
2 tablespoons Butter, melted
10 cups Water
2/3 cup Baking Soda
1 Egg Yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon Water
Toppings of Choice, optional (pretzel salt, cinnamon sugar, etc)
Combine the water, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the top. When the mixture starts to foam, after about 5 minutes, add the flour and butter. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until the ingredients have combined, then increase to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, about 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and oil the bowl with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set it in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees; line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush them with oil, then set aside. Bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil in a large pot. Turn the dough out onto a greased surface and cut into 8 pieces (I actually made 12 medium-sized pretzels instead of 8 big ones). Roll each piece into a long rope. To form the pretzels, make a U shape with the dough, then cross the two sides over one another and press the ends into the bottom of the U. Place the pretzels onto the baking prepared baking sheets and repeat with the remaining dough. Place the pretzels one by one into the boiling water mixture for 30 seconds each. Carefully remove the pretzel from the water and return it to the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the pretzels with the egg mixture and sprinkle with any additional salt or flavored toppings. Bake the pretzels for 12-14 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Transfer the pretzels to a rack to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
*Flash freeze any remaining pretzels on a cookie sheet, then place them into a freezer bag. To re-heat, either microwave for a minute or bake at 400 degrees for 3-4 minutes.