Monday, April 7, 2014

Soft Pretzels

I'm not a fan of pretzels. Soft pretzels, crunchy pretzels, they're just not my thing. They would be okay if it wasn't for that whole pretzel-ly taste! I know, that's what makes it a pretzel. So as I said, I'm not a fan of pretzels. However, my 6 year old son is. And I promised him that I would try making some. So, when I came across this pretzel recipe at Sally's Baking Addiction, I thought I would give it a try.

It turns out that pretzels are easy to make. They are also fun to make! Plus seeing the big smile on my son's face totally made it worth it! And I have to say, if it wasn't for the whole pretzel-ly taste thing, I probably would have liked them myself.

Making pretzels is a lot like making bagels. In fact the difference between the two recipes was that the bagels had oil in them and the pretzels did not. The procedures also varied slightly. The bagels needed to rise for 20 minutes after shaping them and the pretzels did not. Also the shape they were made into was different (obviously) , but the procedures for making the shape (roll, stretch, pull into a rope and shape!) were the same. The bagels were boiled in plain water and the pretzels were boiled in baking soda water (to give them the golden brown pretzel look and taste.) Finally the pretzels where dipped into an egg wash after boiling and then the toppings were added (coarse salt, cinnamon and sugar) and any toppings added to the bagels (sesame seeds, poppy seeds) where added directly to the bagel after boiling. No egg wash required!

I think next time I will make bagels and pretzels at the same time. I'll alter the recipe slightly so that it is combination of the two and I'll make a bunch into bagels and a bunch into pretzels! When I get around to it I'll let you know how it turns out.

We ate our pretzels fresh out of the oven with a side of nacho cheese for dipping them into. If you put enough nacho cheese on it, the pretzel-ly taste was covered up just enough so that someone like me, who doesn't like the pretzel-ly taste (okay, get the point. I don't like pretzels. I'll stop telling you that!)

My Tips
  • Read through Sally's entire post on making pretzels BEFORE making them. I just skimmed it over, printed out the recipe, made my pretzels and then came back and read her article. I missed a few important points, like the broiling is only necessary if you didn't first boil your pretzels!

  • Be generous when sprinkling the salt on the pretzels. Pretzels are supposed to be salt. My son kept asking if he could have one of the pretzels that was sprinkled with salt. I told him they all were. He didn't believe me. I might have been a little stingy with the salt.

  • I made the recipe into 12 pretzels. They were the perfect size for kids.

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