Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Perfectly Soft Pretzel Sticks

Words escape me.  Truly.  I honestly don't know how to describe the heavenly little sticks of flaky but chewy dough with a little hint of salt that are also known as Pretzels.  When I plan my last supper, these will absolutely-100%-without-hesitation-or-a-shadow-of-a-doubt be on the menu...in mass quantity.

And yes, they are better than Auntie Anne's.  They are thicker, more flavorful, not as salty, perfectly crusty and doughy at the same time, not buttery, and literally straight out of the oven hot.  (I am salivating just thinking about them.)  Even better, they are incredibly easy to make!

I could sell these.  Maybe I should.







Better Than Auntie Anne's Pretzel Sticks:
adapted from this recipe.
  • 2 cups of nonfat milk
  • 2 packets of active dry yeast
  • 6 healthy tablespoons of packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of butter, softened
  • 5 1/2ish cups of all-purpose flour (maybe a little more or less depending on the dough)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/3 cup of baking soda
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • kosher salt for dusting
  1. Warm the milk in a 2 cups pouring measuring cup (or a bowl, I suppose) in the microwave until hot but not boiling (about 110 degrees).  This will be about 1 1/2 or 2 minutes.
  2. Add the yeast to the milk and let proof until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  3. When the yeast has proofed, pour the mixture into a stand mixture and add the brown sugar, butter, 1 cup of flour, and the 2 teaspoons of salt.
  4. Mix with your paddle attachment until blended. 
  5. Switch to the dough hook attachment.
  6. Add the remaining flour a cup at a time.
  7. "Knead"/mix on medium low until the dough is elastic and comes off the sides of the bowl freely.
  8. Move the dough to a medium-sized mixing bowl liberally sprayed with cooking spray.
  9. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
  10. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  11. Line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
  12. Punch down the dough to get rid of the air.
  13. Whisk together the warm water and the baking soda in a shallow bowl.
  14. Pull off a racquetball-sized piece of dough and roll into a rope that is about an inch and a half in diameter.
  15. Fully immerse the pretzel stick into the water and slosh around.
  16. Let the excess water drip off the pretzel and place the stick on the parchment paper.
  17. Repeat the process.
  18. When the cookie sheet is full (about 8 or 10 sticks), use a sharp knife to diagonally score the sticks then lightly sprinkle with kosher salt.
  19. Bake the pretzels for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown.
  20. Remove from the oven and DEVOUR!

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