Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hot Buttered Pretzels

I am not a shopper. Walking the mall is not my favorite past time. I do like to browse stores like Williams-Sonoma, go figure?! So what does the mall hold? Soft, golden, buttery pretzels; the aroma wafts throughout the walk ways for several stores, chases me around the kiosks, calling to me.
One of my favorite cookbooks, King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion, has an excellent hot buttered pretzel recipe. I have never made something from this book which has not turned out well.
There you have it, still warm, soft, brushed with real butter, oh happy day! The only change I made to the King Arthur recipe was to give the dough a baking soda bath before baking, instead of sugar, this causes the exterior to be alkaline and give the pretzel the familiar chewy texture, it also causes the exterior to brown quickly without drying the interior.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter, melted
coarse salt of choice, kosher or pretzel
In a large mixing bowl, combine the water for dough, sugar and yeast, allow to rest 5 minutes.
 Add the rest of the dough ingredients, knead for 5 minutes, until soft and smooth, not sticky. Cover and allow to rise 30 minutes.

Knead again for 1 minute.
Cut into 8 pieces.
Preheat oven to 500F.
Mix the water and baking soda in a small pan, warm and stir until most of the soda is dissolved and it is hot to the touch.
Roll each piece into a long snake.
Dip into the hot soda bath.
Tie into shape, place on a lightly greased sheet pan.
Sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 8-9 minutes.

Brush with melted butter.

Can hardly wait! What?! Who is going to miss that little piece?
Enjoy warm. These are best the day they are made. sad.


  1. Have you made them with sugar? I prefer a sweet pretzel, and wondered if you have ventured ther yet.

  2. I have not ventured there yet, I have always liked the flavor of baking soda in a pretzel. If I try them with sugar should I add a spice like cinnamon?