When I was 20 years old, I was addicted to Auntie Anne's Soft Pretzels. So addicted that I wouldn't go to the mall to shop. I would go to get a pretzel. Finally frustrated by not being able to have one ANY time I wanted I bought an Auntie Anne's soft pretzel mix and dissected it in hopes of replicating my favorite treat at home.
After a few failed batches, I came up with a recipe that tasted (so says me) as good as Auntie Anne's. I shared this recipe on Allrecipe.com (recipe here). Within a year it became a top rated recipe and was included in the Allrecipes.com Dinner Tonight cookbook. It was exciting!
It has been almost 10 years and I still make these soft pretzels a few times each month. The pretzels are a bit on the sweeter side, which lends itself well to a cinnamon sugar coating. But it holds up well with more savory ingredients like pepperoni and cheese.
A few tips before you begin:
-Start with 4.5 cups of flour and increase the amount as needed. You want a soft, pliable dough.
-Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and spray with a non stick spray. The baking soda solution makes the pretzels difficult to remove from the pan.
-Brush or dip the pretzels while they're hot.
-These are best when eaten immediately. Cold soft pretzels are not that tasty.
Buttery Soft Pretzels
By Christa Rose
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 4.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 4 cups hot water
- 1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping (optional)
- 1/4 cup butter, for brushing
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned. Brush with melted butter.
A variation: Pepperoni and Cheese stuffed soft pretzels
Roll out a piece of dough into a long rope and flatten. Line with slivers of pepperoni slices and shredded mozzarella cheese. Pinch the sides of dough together encasing the filling in the dough.
Shape into a pretzel shape. Dunk in baking soda solution, top with more shredded cheese and bake.
Happy eating :)