Today I made soft pretzels for my friend Mehal as part of my bread challenge. Unlike most who requested bread, Mehal had a specific bread in mind, so a specific bread he received!
The recipe is from Better Homes & Gardens, like most of my bread recipes, but it is different than most of my bread recipes. (You'll see.)
First, you make the dough like any other dough - mix, rise, punch. But here's where it gets a little different: you roll the dough out, cut it into strips, shape into pretzels, and allow to rise again.
Then here's where it gets really weird: you boil the pretzels in a salt water bath for two minutes.
Weird! Then you let them dry for a second, brush them in egg wash, and sprinkle with whatever you want to sprinkle them with. I used sesame seeds (which get toasted during baking), but you can also use coarse salt, cinnamon and sugar, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, or any number of toppings. Salt, however, messes with the pretzels' moisture over time, and I knew I was shipping most of them, so I didn't do any ones with salt.
After baking, they are deliciously golden:
I have to say, this was the best pretzel I've ever had in my life. I'm definitely going to make these again.
It would be great to make these for a German food fest and dip them in mustard. Mmm. Success again!