That soft pretzel stand at the mall lures me in every time. Who knew soft pretzels could be so easy to make at home? With this recipe, just a quick knead is required and zero rising time. If you like the generic variety, simply sprinkle them with coarse salt before baking. If you like them sweet, you have your choice of cinnamon sugar, vanilla glaze, or salted caramel glaze. What are you waiting for?
The Author Says: “Be sure to add the cinnamon sugar when the recipe states and not before baking, otherwise it will burn.” –Sally McKenney
Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels Recipe
For the Pretzels:
2-1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast (1 standard packet)
1-1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (approximately 110 to 115 F)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
4 to 4-1/4 cups (500–530g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
9 cups (2-1/4 litres) water
2/3 cup (200g) baking soda
For the Topping:
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup (40g) granulated sugar, plus extra (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
Whisk the yeast with the warm water. Allow to almost fully dissolve, about 1 minute. Whisk in the salt and brown sugar until combined. Slowly add the flour 1 cup at a time. Mix with a large spoon until the dough is thick and no longer sticky. Do not add too much flour or the pretzels will not be soft. After 3 to 4 cups of flour, poke the dough with your finger—if it bounces back, it is ready to knead, if not, add a bit more flour.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 3 minutes and shape into a ball. With a sharp knife, cut it into 7 to 8 sections.
Roll each section into a 20-in rope with an even diameter. Take the ends of the rope and form a giant U shape. Take the ends, twist them, and bring them in towards yourself to create a pretzel shape.
Whisk the 9 cups of water and the baking soda together in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Place a pretzel onto a large slotted spatula and dip into the boiling water for 30 seconds. The pretzel will float. Lift the pretzel out of the water and allow the excess water to drip off. Place the pretzel onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the pretzels.
Bake the pretzels for 10 minutes. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Remove the pretzels from the oven and brush each top with the melted butter and generously sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Place back into the oven and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar, if desired.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Pretzels freeze well, in a sealed container, for up to 2 months.
Yield: 7 to 8 pretzels
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the glaze: Mix the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and cream together until smooth and drizzle on soft pretzels immediately before serving.
1 cup (200g) granulated white sugar
6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
Heat the granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn. Once melted completely, immediately add the butter. The mixture will bubble rapidly.
Continue to stir for 2 to 3 minutes until the butter is completely melted. Stir in the heavy cream and allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Allow caramel to cool completely and thicken before drizzling on soft pretzels.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Yield: 1 cup
Recipe Source: “Sally’s Baking Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cupcakes, and Desserts for Your Sweet-Tooth Fix” by Sally McKenney (Race Point Publishing)
Reprinted with express written permission.