Buttery Soft Pretzels recipe

Photo courtesy of Christa Rose
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/24272/buttery-soft-pretzels/

There are few things in life that I enjoy more than carbs, and I say that with the worst kind of absolute sincerity. My biggest nightmare is being told at some point that I need to cut out carbs.  A life with no spaghetti? No cake? I pity gluten-free people. They always just look sad and hungry. Ok, maybe the last part is my projection.

Anyway, back to carbs.

I love bread. And when I stumbled on this recipe on Allrecipes.com, I was incredibly excited. I like pretzels, but most of the time they’re rather…meh when you buy them. Half dried out, thin and just overall lackluster. Then I saw this recipe boasting “buttery soft pretzels” and my inner carb addict did a happy dance. Actually my outer carb addict probably did too. Not only did the picture of these look amazing, but the recipe wasn’t super laborious and seemingly harder than it needed to be. Mind you, I’m a pretty good cook, and not really afraid to try new recipes, but breads I never have the patience for. I usually pop everything into my bread machine, or just buy it in a can. So this was appealing because it seemed do-able, which I am very into.

If you’re a fan of pretzels, you MUST try this. They truly are amazingly, pillowy soft and have a great flavor. The whole process is easy–not too intimidating for a novice chef–and the outcome is really consistent. I’ve made them several times and they’re routinely a great success.

Buttery Soft Pretzels Recipe
By Christa Rose via Allrecipes.com
(Click the recipe title for a direct link to Christa’s recipe at Allrecipes.com)

Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 10 minutes
Ready in 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients:

4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp white sugar
1 1/4 c. warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c white sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 c baking soda
4 c. hot water
1/4 c. kosher salt, for topping

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two more tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Grease 2 baking sheets.
  4. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water; set aside. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda-hot water solution and place pretzels on baking sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 8 minutes.

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