My son is 13 years old and his whole life revolves around his computer. He hardly ever asks to do anything in the kitchen with me (I love to cook and bake) so when he asked if we could make some pretzels……
Well let’s just say I think I made him jump a little when I screeched “YES LET’S DO IT!”
I shared a pic on Instagram of the finished article and a few folks asked me for the recipe. Foolishly I didn’t photograph each step, so I hope my explanations are clear enough!
As I said before, I love to cook and bake; however my health hasn’t liked to cooperate much for a few years so my kitchen creativity had taken a bit of back seat. My hubster bought me a stand mixer for Christmas last year and it’s made such a big difference to me! Now I can bake more – cakes are a doddle and even bread is easy peasy – which my family thanks me for but my waistline doesn’t.
A couple of things to note; you may not need all the melted butter/milk liquid, or you may need all of it. Different flours have different needs, so use your own judgement. You’re looking for a soft, slightly tacky smooth dough.
The other point I want to make (I thought it is obvious but my teen tells me it’s not) is that you don’t have to use cinnamon in your sugar. You can use vanilla if you like, or even just plain sugar. Or maybe something controversial like ginger…. whatever you enjoy really!
Anyways, here is the ridiculously easy recipe for the soft sweet cinnamon sugar pretzels of dreams.
For the Pretzels
80g butter, melted
300ml milk, warmed to hand hot.
1 sachet fast action yeast.
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
275g plain flour
275g strong plain flour
For the Bicarb Bath
500ml very hot water
2tbsp bicarbonate soda
For the Coating
70g melted butter
100g caster sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
You will also need greased baking trays, an oiled mixing bowl, a clean tea towel, a cooling rack and a stand mixer. (You can make the pretzels without the mixer, you will need to knead the dough on an oiled surface for 10 minutes instead)
In the bowl of your mixer; combine the flours, yeast, caster sugar and salt. Attach the dough hook to your machine, then turn it on to a low setting and slowly mix the dry ingredients together. Meanwhile, stir the melted butter into the warm milk thoroughly.
Gradually add the liquid to your dry ingredients as the mixer works. Allow time for the butter/milk to be worked in before adding more. If you add too much liquid and the dough seems very sticky and wet, add some more flour 1tbsp at a time.
Once your liquid is added and you have a soft, slightly sticky dough; turn your mixer up to medium and allow it to knead for about 5 minutes. Turn out into the oiled bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave in a warm place for upto 2 hours, until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200c fan, 180c electric or Gas Mark 5.
Put the dough on a clean work surface and divide into 16 equal-ish pieces (you can weigh them if you really want to but I didn’t!)
Now here’s the technical bit; take a piece of your dough and roll it into a long thin snake – you want it to be at least 30cm – making sure it’s even all the way along. Take the ends up above the body and twist once, then fold back down and press them into the body. Flip it over et voila! A pretzel! Repeat 15 times.
Once they are all formed, they need to have a bath. This is part of the traditional process of baking pretzels and gives the characteristic chewy exterior with the soft insides.
Stir the bicarb into the hot water, in a shallow dish – hot not boiling – and then add the pretzels a couple at a time. Flip them over in the water, then remove to a cooling rack and allow them to dry. Keep going until they are all done.
Now it’s time to bake these bad boys! They need to be baked in the centre of the oven for 5 minutes, then turn the tray and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the baking tray immediately and leave to cool a moment on the rack.
Meanwhile, combine the caster sugar with the cinnamon and mix thoroughly – you don’t want any explosive spice nuggets on your pretzels!
Brush the baked, hot pretzels all over with melted butter and then toss them in the sugar mixture. Make sure they get a good coating, it’s the best bit! Once they are all done, serve them immediately. They are best eaten straight away, but if you have leftovers then keep them in an airtight container and warm through gently in the oven before eating.
They also are yummy dipped in melted chocolate. If you don’t think they are decadent enough I mean!
It is impossible for me to over-hype these gorgeous baked goods! They are so soft, so flavourful and so so so moorish…. If you have any leftovers I would be super impressed by your gargantuan levels of self control!
Our batch didn’t last the day….
If you decide to have a go at making these, please do let me know how you get on! I would love to hear what you think of the pretzels and if you found it as easy as I did to make them.
Much love xx