How To Make Soft Pretzels

These were the first ones I made

 
With a crispy outside and salty finish, if you are a pretzel lover like me then this is the perfect recipe for you! 

Baked until soft and fluffy on the inside and crispy and sprinkled in flaked Himalayan salt, these super morish soft pretzels are delicious when served with butter, or my family really enjoyed them with strawberry jam too (perfect for breakfast or lunch!) 

How to make Soft Pretzels: 

Prep ahead – the recipe I followed, to begin with (which can be found in the link at the end), caught me a little off guard when it mentioned using baked bicarbonate of soda, so a helpful tip from me would be to make sure you have it ready baked. 

– If you are like me and have no idea how to bake bicarbonate of soda it’s super simple, preheat your oven to 120° if using a fan oven/ 140° for non-fan assisted ovens, then get a packet (or pot in my case) of Bicarbonate of soda, pour it out evenly on a baking tray lined with tin foil and bake for 1 hour. Leave it to cool, and if you put it in a Tupperware it will last up to 3 months! 

Don’t rush the process – An important thing I’ve learnt over my time of baking, is when your working with homemade dough, leaving it alone to do its thing is key! And by that I mean when you reach the stage that you leave the dough to prove and double in size don’t get impatient and take it out before its ready. 

The ingredients: 

500g strong bread flour

8g sachet dried yeast 

25g brown sugar 

50g unsalted melted margarine

3 tbsp of baked bicarbonate soda

2 beaten eggs for glazing 

The Process: 

1. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and 1 tablespoon of salt together in a big bowl. 

2. In a large jug mix the melted butter and 300ml of lukewarm water 

(If you forget to pre-melt the butter like me, I put the butter in the jug of room temperature water and then put it in the microwave for 20 secs to melt the butter )

3. Make a well in the bowl of mixed flour ingredients and pour in the contents of the jug. Mix together to form a rough dough. it will still be a little sticky and pull apart at this stage but don’t panic! 

4. Tip out the dough onto a floured worktop and knead for about 5-7 minutes until it is smooth and uniform. Slowly try to form a big ball.

5.Once smooth place the ball of dough back into a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with cling film for at least an hour (it should double in size, so try to remember what it looks like at this stage)

6. Once the dough has risen in size, take it out and push the air bubbles out of it. Then divide into roughly 8 equal pieces ready for rolling. 

7. With your hands take a piece of dough and roll it out from the middle to form a long spaghetti strand of dough.

(Each strand of dough should be about 70cm long but it depends on how much of a gap you want in your pretzel, the thinner the strand is the bigger gap will be in the pretzel shape) 

8.  Now to form the pretzel shape! Curve the strand of dough into a U shape with the curve pointing towards you. And then take each end of the U and cross them over. Take the ends again and lift them backwards, pressing them into the curve of the U to form the pretzel shape. (this can take a few tries to get the hang of making them look like a pretzel, my first ones looked like little buns but still tasted great)

9. Pre-heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

10. Gently take your formed pretzels and place them on a lightly oiled baking tray, and cover it lightly with cling film and leave them to puff up for around 20 mins. (they don’t need to double in size just fluff up)As you can see the shaping part was challenging for me lol but it got easier the more I tried! 
10. When ready, bring a medium size pan of water to a boil, pour in 3 tbsp of bicarbonate of soda and reduce down to a low simmer. (when you pour in the bicarbonate it will bubble up in reaction, try to be as quick as possible getting your pretzels in!)
11. One at a time, lift your pretzel into the pan and leave to float around for 20 secs on each side, flipping in between. you’ll notice it will change colour slightly. 
12. Place the boiled pretzels back on a baking tray and brush over the outside with the pre-mixed egg wash. To finish sprinkle flakes of salt on the top (Use as much or as little salt as desired). Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until they are a nice dark golden brown. 
13. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then they are ready to eat! I had mine when they were still warm and in my opinion, that’s the best way! 

Here’s the link to the original recipe that I used, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/learn-make-pretzels, although the recipe above has a couple of personal tweaks to it that I have made over the few times I have made these, they always go down well in a crowd or when I have guests over, and my mum loves them for breakfast with either just butter or butter and jam! (If you want to get creative try them with a salted caramel sauce, or maybe berries and cream!) Happy baking guys!!! Post me your pictures and comments on how yours turned out!!

xoxo

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