Mini Soft Pretzels
from Emily (who loves food)
These delicious mini pretzels are soft, salty and very morish. Slightly adapted from Alton Brown’s famous go-to recipe, they’re the perfect party food.
You know, I’ve got something to admit.
Before making these babies, I’d never eaten a soft pretzel before. Ever. Here in New Zealand, they aren’t nearly as common – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a store that sells them, other than perhaps the odd international store, and even then, soft pretzels would be a rarity.
Because of this, I couldn’t bring myself to make large ones. I think my lack of pretzel socialisation has left me terrified of such a big piece of bread with nothing on it but salt. Plus, anything made mini is just that much better, in my book.
Today is my first day back at uni – I say is and not was because my class doesn’t actually start until 3pm this afternoon. And even then, I think it’s a lecture. Don’t worry – I’ll attend – it’s my first day, and I’m dying to use the new backpack that I purchased weeks ago. Plus, it gives me a chance to suss out the people I’ll be spending the rest of the year with – unlike other university courses where you enroll in papers separately, my timetable is fixed and set. This means that I have a consistant class over the whole year – a bit like primary school – which, to be honest, is nice. It gives you a chance to form proper relationships with people, instead of just sitting next to someone different every day.
So no doubt, the next tasty treat I post up here will include a speel about exactly how my first few days go, but for now, I can fantasise about something easy and breezy that I can waltz through with my eyes closed.
I’m going to eat a pretzel.
Mini Soft Pretzels - Makes around 20 Mini Pretzels
Prep time: 30 mins + 1 hour proofing Cook time: 12-15 mins
- 1 1/2 cups body temperature water
- 1 tbs sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 8g packet instant yeast
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- 40g melted butter
- 5 cups water
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 1 beaten egg + 1 tbs water
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the warm water, sugar and salt. Sprinkle over the yeast, and leave for five to ten minites to foam up a bit.
Once foamy, plop the flour and melted butter on top, and knead on a low speed until thoroughly combined. Turn on the juice a little, a knead for a further 5 mins or until the dough forms a nice, elastic ball.
Extract the dough hook, and place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a slightly dampened tea towel and place in a warm spot (such as the airing cupboard) to double in size – this should take between one and two hours.
Once it’s big and puffy, preheat the oven to 220c.
Divide the dough in half, then into quarters, then into eights. Now it gets a bit guessy – if you’re anything like me, your eighths will be rather different sizes. Take bits off the big ones, and stick them together to make a few more dough balls, until you have around 16 – 20 small pieces.
Pop the baking soda and 5 cups of water on to boil in a large pot – in the meantime, roll out the dough balls into thin snakes, folding them into a pretzel shape (by making a U, crossing the ends over and pinching them against the base of the U) and placing them on lined baking trays.
Once the water is boiling, drop between one and four of the pretzels into the water (as many as you can remove in one go) and allow to boil for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or similar instrument and place back on the baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the batch.
Brush the pretzels with the egg/water wash, and sprinkle over a little more coarse salt. Pop in the oven for 12-14 mins, or until warm golden brown on the outside.
Allow to cool slightly before eating or placing in an airtight container.