Lunchtime Pretzels

We were watching a food show last night that sent me immediately to pretzel researching. After looking at a few recipes, I combined a couple to form this recipe below.  The pretzels turned out doughy, yet light and were best eaten fresh out of the oven.  Fabulous!

2 1/2 cup bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water, between 106 to 110 degrees F

1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups close to boiling water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Malden sea salt flakes
Cinnamon sugar

Combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer.  Whisk to combine.  Using the hook attachment, knead the dough by slowly adding the warm water in a steady stream with the mixer on low, # 3 speed.  Knead the dough for about 5 minutes.  
Remove the hook attachment, bring the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit to rise for about an hour. 

Heat oven to 450f.
Combine the 4 cups water with teh 1/2 cup baking soda in a 9" x 9" pan and set over the stove on low heat.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide into 8-10 equal sized pieces.  Roll the dough with your hands into a long rope, about 12-16 inches long.  Twist the dough twice at the end, then fold over onto the center to form the pretzel shape.  
Place the pretzels onto a large cutting board or pan as you complete them.
Carefully place each pretzel into the water and baking soda bath.  This bath is what makes the outside of the pretzels that deep golden brown color.  Use a large spoon and spoon the water over the pretzel a few times.
Remove the pretzel with a slotted spoon or spatula and place onto the baking sheet.
Once you have done this for all the pretzels, bake them for 5 minutes.

Remove and brush with the melted butter.  Sprinkle with either the salt or the cinnamon sugar and return to oven for another 3 minutes.
Serve warm.  I had mine with a little Maille moutarde au chablis from Paris and the girls had some fresh jambon with theirs.


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