Soft, warm, pretzels. There’s something about pretzels that brings joy to many people around the world. While pretzel making may seem hard, you don’t need to be a chef to make them.
What Are Pretzels?
A pretzel is a type of baked bread that is made from dough and is crafted into a twisted knot shape. The iconic golden brown twist are one of the oldest snack foods and remain to be one of the most popular treats today.
Starch, protein, yeast, sugar, flour, and shortening are some of the main ingredients that form higher moisture goodness.
Who Invented Pretzels?
Pretzels have quite the twisted history. History shows that the Catholic Church played a leading role in the early history of the pretzel. Because of the simple ingredients, pretzels were an ideal food to consume during Lent, when all types of dairy, eggs, and meat were prohibited.
How To Shape Soft Pretzels
Pretzels can be made in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Whether you want to make Mickey Mouse ears or the classic knot, here are some steps to do shape them.
Step 1: On a floured surface, shape the piece of dough into a long, round shape by using the palm of your hands. This will eventually make you a long rope of dough.
Step 2: Roll the dough to a length of at least 18 inches. Take the ends of the rope to form a circle. Then bring the ends towards yourself and press them onto the bottom of the circle. Use water to wet the ends to stick them to the dough.
How To Make Soft Pretzels?
Now that you know the history of soft pretzels, let’s get into teaching you how to make them. The total prep time will be a little under 2 hours.
Step 1: In a bowl, whisk 1 packet active dry or instant yeast into warm water. Let the packet sit for one minute.
Step 2: Whisk in salt, melted butter, and sugar.
Step 3: Add 4 cups of flower and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough forms.
Step 4: Place the dough on a floured work area and knead the dough for 3 minutes into a shape of a ball.
Step 5: Cover the ball of dough with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for one hour or until it has doubled in size. We recommend a warm area to do this step in.
Step 6: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 7: Roll each piece of dough into a 16-24 inch long rope and twist the ends to form the twist.
Step 8: Boil 8 cups of water and baking soda in a large pot.
Step 9: Drop one to two pretzels into boiling water, but be sure they do not get too close together.
Step 10: After cooking for 30 seconds, use a spatula to life the pretzels out of the water and let the excess water drip off.
Step 11: Place the pretzels on a baking sheet and coat with salt.
Step 12: Bake all of the pretzels for 12-15 minutes until they turn a golden brown color.
What To Dip Pretzels In?
While pretzels are great with light salt on top, we also highly recommend the following dips for your soft pretzels.
- Cheese Sauce: Sharp cheddar cheese is a must have dip for pretzels.
- Honey Mustard: By adding a mix of sweet honey and tangy mustard makes for one of the best dipping sauces to make at home.
- Caramel Sauce: If you’re a fan of sweet, you need to try the salted caramel pretzel by adding caramel as a dip.
- Ranch Dressing: If you love some ranch dressing on your pizza, then you’re going to love dipping your soft pretzel into ranch dressing.
- Beer Cheese Sauce: While beer and cheese may sound like an interesting combo, we highly recommending melting butter in a saucepan and add milk. Then pour the beer in. From here all you need to do is stir in mustard and salt.
Where To Buy Soft Pretzels?
If you’ve read the entire guide and decided you’d rather just buy a soft pretzel instead of making it, you’re in luck. Here are a few places that will gladly sell you a soft pretzel: Costco, Auntie Anne’s, Wetzel’s Pretzels, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Target, sporting events, and a number of grocery stores.