Or an entire batch for lunch, if you're me. Whatever.
I'm relatively new to the soft pretzel game, having just been introduced to them in a meaningful way a few months ago- at Sam's Club of all places. I figured if I like them at Sam's, they had to be a million times better if I made them at home, and I was very very right.
If you Google "how to make soft pretzels," it's pretty easy to get overwhelmed. Lye? Baking soda bath? Salt that isn't from the salt shaker on my table? And what's with that twisting? No thanks.
But really, it's not hard at all. And I didn't use any lye. It's a few steps, but honestly, these are so much quicker than many of the other bread products I make, and it's totally worth the little bit of effort.
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp of sugar
2 1/2 tsp (or one packet) of dry active yeast
1 cup of water as hot as you can get it from the tap
1 1/2 cups of boiling water
3 tbsp of baking soda
Course sea salt and/or a cinnamon/sugar mixture
at least 1 stick of butter, but I use more
First, add those first five ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until they're all combined then knead on medium speed for 5-6 minutes.
While your dough is resting, boil the cup and a half of water. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and add the baking soda. Be aware: this bubbles up somewhat violently. It's fun to watch, though, so invite the kids in for this part! Let this mixture cool as your dough rests.
I will add here that some recipes tell you to put the dough into this mixture as it's boiling, and some say dip the dough in after the water has cooled. I tried both, and it really had the same outcome...so I'm going for the simplest option.
Preheat your oven to 400.
Cut the strips into bite sized pieces.
Place the bathed dough bites on a parchment AND sprayed cookie sheet. If you want to actually get them off once they are cooked, I highly recommend both. I speak from experience here.
Bake at 400 for 10-11 minutes, until beautifully golden.
While the pretzels are baking, melt your butter. Now, normally when I bake, I use unsalted butter, but this is one instance where that salt makes a big difference. Feel free to use unsalted if you prefer, but I've tried both, and let me tell you, that salt is noticeably missing if you don't use it. If all you have is unsalted butter, add 1/4 tsp of salt to the butter as it's melting.
Now that you mention it, I bet you could add a lot of yummy stuff...like garlic powder and then top the pretzels with Parmesan cheese...mmmm. ..but I digress.
Now here's to all this rain...and all this yummy baking!