Ever been offered a piece of hot pretzel to try from one of those stands in the shopping centre?
This is my version of those hot, buttery, cinnamon sugar-coated delights.
George and I love them so…and making them is much more civilised than putting on a silly hat and going round again for seconds.
Because we’d never do that…oh no.
I enlisted George make these with me because he lurves da pretzels and he is actually very good at the rolling and flipping…and sugar dipping…and eating! He also had a friend round for a sleepover so these are a great late night snack, or even breakfast.
To make 16 hot soft pretzels:
- 1 pack quick action yeast
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 275g/2 cups bread flour
- 275g/2 cups plain flour
- 350 mls/1.5 cups lukewarm milk
- 100g/4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups very hot water
- 2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- 50g/2 tablespoons of melted butter
- Some caster sugar/cinnamon
Mix the yeast, salt, sugar and flours in a large bowl (we use the Kenwood Chef for this and mix with a dough hook) Stir 100g melted butter into a measuring jug containing the lukewarm milk.
Gradually pour the milk and butter into the flour and mix. You may not need all the liquid. When it comes into a soft ball of dough knead for about 8-10 minutes.
Cover the bowl with cling film or a plate and let it rise in a warm room until double in size – about 1-2 hours.
We go and watch a film at this point.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
Cut the dough into 16 equal portions.
Roll each piece into a thin sausage (don’t use any flour or it won’t roll) about 2 feet long.
To form the pretzel cross the ends of the rope then twist to cross them over again. Take the twisted ends up to the top of the hoop and flip the whole thing over.
At this point George got bored of taking the photos, plus also he thinks he can make pretzels better than me, so he stepped back in to demonstrate his pretzel twisting skills for you:
To be honest, it doesn’t matter if you don’t get these the right shape. They are delicious any which way. We even made some into spirals by cooking them wrapped round wooden spoon handles!
Dip each pretzel into the bicarb water bath, drain them on a cooling rack while you do the rest. I think the bicarb bath helps them to brown quickly and also to puff up a bit and stay chewy.
Put non stick foil (parchment would probably do) onto two baking sheets. and then place your wet pretzels, scruffy side down, onto the baking sheets. Bake for 5 minutes, spin the tray round and bake for 4-5 minutes more, so 9-10 minutes in total.
While the pretzels are baking, melt the last 2 tablespoons of butter. When they come out of the oven get a small boy to brush each pretzel with melted butter…
…then dip immediately in a saucer of caster sugar mixed with cinnamon, or you could sprinkle them with sea salt and take them down a savoury avenue.
Don’t get sugar in your eyes.