Monday, September 5, 2011

Homemade Soft Pretzels

About a month ago, PCS fever set again. I started getting extremely anxious about moving back to the states and started thinking about the things I miss about America. I started getting excited thinking about being able to drive or fly and see family in only a couple of hours, instead of days wrapped up in traveling.. being able to walk into a Toys R Us to Christmas shop for Rosalie... Olive Garden... Target.. just being able to shop in stores in general... not having to use a transformer when I want to use any type of appliances... oh boy i'm getting anxious just thinking about it again hahah. In all my yearnings for American things, I started craving and I mean CRAVING Auntie Anne's Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels. Probably one of my all time favorite treats. (forget it... i'm not pregnant! just a woman missing America!)

Then I remembered a recipe that I had found and stashed in my card box that I had never attempted. It was a Auntie Anne's imitation recipe. In my opinion, I don't think it tasted like Auntie Anne's, BUT they were soo yummy! I made half with salt and half with cinnamon sugar per Kevin's request. He said he didn't like cinnamon sugar that he wanted salt. Well after he had a taste of my pretzel, he regretted telling me to do salt ones lol. I don't think the salt ones were anything spectacular.. but I didn't have them fresh out of the oven. I tried one 3 days later after they were stored in a lock'n'lock container, which was a mistake. It made them entirely too moist and gross.

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

1 1/2c Warm Water
1 1/8 tsp active yeast
2 tbls brown sugar
1 1/8 tsp salt
1 c bread flour
3 c regular flour
2 c warm water
2 tbls baking soda
coarse salt (If you chose to do salted)
2-4 tbls melted butter (for salted)
1/2c sugar + 1tsp cinnamon = perfect cinnamon sugar
1 stick of melted butter for cinnamon sugar pretzels

-Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water (1 1/2c water); stir to dissolve.
-Add brown sugar and salt; stir to dissolve.
-Add flour (Both types) and knead dough until smooth.
-Let dough rise at least 1/2 hour.
-When it's time to do the pretzels, prepare a baking soda bath using 2 c warm water and 2 tbls baking soda. Stir often. I stirred every time before dipping a pretzel in.
-After dough has risen, pinch off bits and dough and roll into a long rope (About 1 /2 in or less thick) and shape into a pretzel. I had a hard time with rolling into a rope and it took my so long to do this part. I don't know why.. but I had a hard time getting it thin.. every time I would get it about the size it should be I would end up ripping it lol. Although by the end I had perfect looking pretzels!
-Dip pretzel into soda solution and place on a greased sheet.
-Allow pretzel to rise.
-Bake at 450 for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
-If doing cinnamon sugar: Dip in bowl of melted butter and then dip in bowl with cinnamon sugar mixture.
-If doing salt: Baste with butter and sprinkle with coarse salt.


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