The Softest Soft Pretzels

 

These homemade pretzels are super fun to make and will certainly create a buzz at your holiday festivities! Pretzels, with their twisting continuous eternity looping, are a sign and symbol of good luck for the New Year, making them the perfect snack while watching football and toasting to a great 2016 and even better 2017!

Ingredients:

2 1/4 teaspoon (1 packet) active dry yeast
3 cups warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
3 cups flour + up to 3/4 cup more, if needed
4 tablespoons baking soda
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon coarse salt, for sprinkling on top
 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the active dry yeast with 1 cup warm water and sugar. The yeast will “foam” when ready. Stir in the salt and melted butter. Add the flour 1 cup at a time until a dough forms and is no longer sticky. You may need more or less depending on moisture differences. Knead the dough in the machine for 5 minutes until it’s smooth and pliable. Clean and oil the mixing bowl with olive oil. 
  3. Form the dough into a ball. Place the dough back into the bowl to rest in a warm, dry place for 15 minutes.   Meanwhile, in a medium pot, boil the remaining 2 cups of water with 4 tablespoons of baking soda.
  4. Once the dough has risen for 15 minutes, remove from the bowl and cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 15–18 inches long. Shape the dough into a pretzel shape and place in the baking soda bath for 2 minutes. Carefully remove from the water and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with all of the pretzels. Brush with the egg yolk and sprinkle with coarse salt. Or try poppy seeds and sesame seeds!
  5. Bake for 10–12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve.