Monday, January 20, 2014

Easy Hot and chewy buttered Pretzels- and Sweet cinnamon wheat Pretzels

I love hot bread. It has to be my #1 favorite treat. You can slather it with butter or sweet jam and I swear it will take away all your troubles. I love experimenting with shaping bread in pretty ways, and creating visually pleasing food as well as something delicious to sink my teeth into.
Today I decided to try to make homemade pretzels. To my surprise, they are so much easier than I thought!!
Benson was my helper, and together we were so excited to pull these chewy hot treats out of the oven and enjoy them together!
Here's how we did it....

Recipe: Buttered Pretzels:
Recipe source: Busy at home

Ingredients for pretzels:
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

Pretzel Bath and topping:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon baking soda
Kosher or pretzel salt or cinnamon and sugar
Melted butter to brush on baked pretzels

Note: I used my stand mixer for this recipe, but you can certainly mix dough and knead by hand!

In a coffee mug or cup, add 1/2 cup of warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit about 5 minutes or until yeast is foamy.
Add remaining half cup of water into stand mixer. Add salt and then yeast mixture when  it's ready. **Why not add it all together? Salt kills yeast. Sugar helps it grow. Best to keep them apart until the yeast is foamy and active!**
Slowly add in four 1/2 cup at a time. After adding about half the flour, switch your mixer to the dough hook and let the mixer knead the dough on medium speed for 5 minutes.
The dough will be smooth and not sticky.
Add dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 30 minutes.

When dough is risen, dump it onto a greased countertop. Cut dough in half, and then in half again until you have 8 equal pieces. Roll dough into 14 inch ropes and fold into a pretzel shape as seen in pictures below.
To make bath mixture, add 1/2 cup of warm water into a bowl with soda. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute and stir.

Next, dip formed pretzels into soda water mixture, and set on greased baking sheet. Sprinkle kosher or pretzel salt on top and let rise for 10 minutes while oven heats to 450 degrees.
Bake for 10 minutes and brush with melted butter as soon as you pull them out of the oven. Make sure you grab one quick because your family will scarf these up fast... guaranteed!!

Use a sharp greased knife to easily cut your dough into 8 equal pieces.

Twist around the pull end through loop.

Have your kiddos help you roll out the ropes and sprinkle the salt on top.


Benson wanted to fold his own dough so I let him have a little. He made a snake and it turned out so perfect :) Cooking is so much fun when you do it with someone you love!

 We also experimented with a wheat pretzel with Cinnamon and Sugar. The texture and subtle sweetness is delicious!


Recipe: Cinnamon and Wheat Pretzels:
Recipe Source: Emmy in her Element

Ingredients for pretzels:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
2 teaspoons warm honey
3/4 teaspoon salt

Pretzel bath and toppings:
1/2 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of baking soda
cinnamon and sugar mix to sprinkle on top

NOTE: I used my stand mixer for this recipe but you can definitely stir and knead by hand!
In a coffee mug or cup, add 1/2 cup warm water. Mix in 2 teaspoons honey (warmed in the microwave for 5-7 seconds). Stir together. Add yeast and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes or until yeast is foamy.
In stand mixer, add remaining 1/2 cup of warm water and salt.
Add yeast mix and stir together. Slowly add flours 1/2 cup at a time until combined. Switch to your dough hook and let the hook knead the dough for 5 minutes. It will produce a very smooth and non sticky dough.
Add dough to a greased bowl covered with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.

After risen, spray countertop with a little pam spray. Dump dough onto greased countertop
and cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 14 inches. Form into a pretzel shape as seen below.
To make bath mixture, add 1/2 cup of warm water into a bowl with soda. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute and stir. Dip pretzels into soda water bath and add to greased cookie sheet. Let rise for 10 minutes before baking.

YOU CAN ADD THE TOPPTINGS 2 WAYS: Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar while still wet from soda water, OR brush with butter after baking and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar. Of course they will taste a little better with the butter, but if you are saving on calories, you can add it after the soda water dip.
Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees and enjoy!

I took the above recipe and changed the flour and sugar to wheat and honey to make this one a little healthier. The difference in texture and flavor is a fun twist!


 Since each recipe makes 8 pretzels, I made two batches at a time so that we would have plenty to snack on. These are best enjoyed right out of the oven or within the first hour. After that they cool down and need to be re-heated to taste delicious again!
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