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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Easy Homemade Mall Pretzels

You can't go the Mall and not see the little shops that sell these wonderful hot pretzels. They sell them by the hundreds, if not thousands (gosh...why didn't I open my own shop and sell these years ago...I would be rich)! Some are dipped in cheese sauce, some in ranch, others covered in cinnamon and sugar...all of which just make my mouth water. I have always wanted to make my own pretzels but I was so intimidated by some of the recipes that I had seen. Some had miles of instructions which made little or no sense. Some had funky ingredients and others just intimidated me by the amount of time that it would take to create such a masterpiece. Yesterday I decided I was going to make homemade pretzels...no matter what. I had a recipe that I had stored in my files for years and decided that NOW was the time...and today would be the day...I pulled out the recipe and got to work. Much to my surprise, they were so easy. They do take some time...but anything that you cook takes time....BUT it wasn't hard. I loved that they tasted just like the pretzels that you get in the Mall. They were soft, they were chewy, they were mouth watering good!!!! I melted up some cheese sauce and ate to my hearts content...the only thing that would have made them better was if I would have had an arm full of shopping bags sitting in my lap, full of some "retail therapy"...just saying~
    ......BUT thats another post-for a different blog.....

Easy Homemade Mall Pretzels
3 c. warm water
2 T sugar
3 t. salt
5 T. active dry yeast
9 c. flour
1/2 butter, melted

Boiling Water:
10 c. water
2/3 c. baking soda

Pretzel Salt (optional) * I didn't use...I don't like the salt on mine, but if you do, use it.

*Instructions are for a bread mixer (Bosch) or Kitchen Aid...but if you want to do it by hand that will work too...it will just take a little longer and use a little more muscle than it took to mix it up in my Bosch.

Pretzel Dough: 
In bowl, combine water, sugar, salt and yeast. Allow to sit for 5-6 minutes or until mixture begins to foam (yeast begins to bubble).

Add flour and melted butter to yeast mixture. Using the dough hook on your mixer, mix on low until ingredients is well combined...increase speed to medium and knead until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and has a smooth texture. This process usually takes about 5-6 minutes.

Place the dough in a large bowl that has been sprayed with pan coating, cover with a HOT damp cloth and let rise until double. (50-60 minutes)

Boiling Water:
Bring water and baking soda to a rolling boil in a large sauce pan (if it starts to boil before you get your dough rolled out, turn water down and let it simmer until your ready for it, then turn the water back up...this will prevent your water from evaporating)

Pretzel Dough:
Lightly spray 2 large baking sheets with pan coating. Spray an area on your counter with pan coating (your work space). Divide dough in half. Leave 1/2 of the dough in the pan covered with damp hot towel to prevent it from drying out. Divide dough (the piece you took from the bowl) into 12 equal balls. Roll each ball into a 18-24 inch rope and twist it into the shape of a pretzel then place on prepared baking sheets. Slightly press down ends of pretzel to prevent them from coming up during the boiling process. Continue with the remaining half of the dough. (you should get a total of 24 pretzels)
Roll ball of dough into a rope

Form rope into the shape of a pretzel

One at a time (my pan was big enough that I could cook 3 at a time), cook pretzels in the boiling water for 30 seconds each; then remove with a slotted metal spatula and return to baking sheets (this process gives your pretzel the "chewy" texture that makes it so good). Let pretzels raise for 15 minutes. 

Bake in preheated 450 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. (I tried both times but prefer 8 minutes because I like my pretzels a little "lighter" in color)  Remove from pan and cool on a paper towel or dishtowel. Serve pretzels warm with cheese sauce, ranch or with YOUR favorite dipping sauce.

Enjoy your own little "Mall Treat"!

Happy Cooking~

1 comment:

  1. These are one of my favorite foods. I can't wait to try this.