My husband and I took a gamble Tuesday night and stayed up late expecting to get snowed in on Wednesday. We came home that night prepared to work from home the next day and had every intention of staying in our pajamas for over 24 hours. While we didn’t get the amount of snow we we’re hoping for, it was nasty enough for the schools to close and potentially worse for the evening commute. Best to stay home!
In between work and play, my little family continued to peek outside hoping the snow piled high enough to go out and frolic in the fluff. Fluff? By the time the snow hit the ground, it was like an icy, gloppy, wet mud pool in our backyard—not the best for building snowmen or snow angels. Sigh. After about 4pm, we realized snow pants and snow balls weren’t in the cards, so we decided to make homemade soft-pretzels! When else can two working parents find time on a weekday to make soft pretzels with their kid(s) but on a snow day?!
Zoey had fun kneading the dough and “shaping” the pretzels. She exclaimed, “Look Mommy! It’s a snake tied in a knot!” To make the activity last even longer we used smaller measuring cups, so she could dump the flour in 8 times instead of 4.
They are really easy to make and super delicious (especially dipped in butter!).
Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe
1 ½ cups warm water
1 1/8 teaspoons active yeast (we used the MOM’s Active Dry Yeast—it’s in the cooler section)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup bread flour (I didn’t have any bread flour on hand, so I just used regular all-purpose and it was still delicious!)
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Butter and coarse salt to taste. Also try dipping warm pretzels in butter and then into a cinnamon and sugar mixture. Buttered and salted pretzels taste great dipped in cheese sauce and mustard too!
Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl (or stand mixer); stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve. Next, add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic (or using dough hook, mix until stick dough ball forms. Let rise 30-60 minutes.
While dough is rising grease your baking sheets and prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 Tbsp baking soda (stir periodically). After dough has risen, cut dough ball into 12 even pieces. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Roll out each piece into a long rope—about 18-20 inches long by ½ inch thick. Shape into a pretzel. Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet. Allow pretzels to rise again for at about another 30 minutes. Bake in 450 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes or until golden. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with salt and or cinnamon and sugar.
We ate like champs last night. I boiled some Ayshire organic brats in a homebrew pale ale, added my husband’s homemade sauerkraut, creamed some Olivia’s Organics spinach and served it all up with these awesome soft pretzels. Yum!