Monday, April 29, 2013

Playoff Snacks - The Perfect Pretzel

It's playoff time! Now not everyone is a fan of hockey, and not everyone wants to sit around watching the playoffs all spring. Whether in front of the game or for movie night in with the girls, everyone is going to love these pretzels!

This recipe isn't a Savour Sister original, it is actually Alton Brown's recipe from his show Good Eats. It is so perfect that we just had to share it with everyone. 

It may seem complicated, but in fact it is really easy to do. it just takes a little time and patience.  These pretzels also freeze brilliantly, just throw them in a cold oven, then turn on the heat to 350 degrees. When the preheat cycle is over, the pretzels will be hot and crispy!

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil, for pan
5 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt (or I also use cinnamon and sugar)

1. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl, or stand mixer bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. 
2. Add the flour,butter and salt to the bowl. Mix until well combined, then knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. 
3. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. 
4. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. 
6. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
7. Bring the 5 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in a large saucepan.
8. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 12 equal pieces.
9. Roll out each piece of dough into a 20-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. 
10. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. 
11. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. 
12. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

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