Can we talk about how good soft pretzels are for everyday life? They're salty, they're bready, they're full of empty calories, and they're always perfectly delicious. Also, soft pretzels are pretty much essential for a proper sporting event experience am I right? Nothing says "Go, team!" like a warm soft pretzel dipped in creamy cheese sauce. Add a little beer to that cheese sauce and now you're speakin' the Midwesterner's Language.
So of course, for Superbowl Sunday I knew that our somewhat bountiful spread just wouldn't be complete without a plate of fresh soft pretzels, and I was determined to make them myself. But I wasn't just making them for the game. Oh no. Sure, the game was an important factor, but it was much more than that. The truth of the matter is, that pretzel stand around the corner won't always be open when the craving arises. And it arises more often than you think. Therefore, it behooved me to learn the craft, hone my pretzel skills, and eat lots of the final product for, you know, research purposes before kickoff...
And while I'm officially on the road to becoming a master pretzel princess, it wasn't without a few (read: many) challenges. First of all, it is not at all easy to twist dough. It's bouncy when you don't want it to be, it springs back, and it most definitely won't go out without a fight. But eventually, it stops fighting you, and you wind up with pretty pretzel butterflies waiting for a quick poaching, followed by a little toasting in the oven until it's perfectly golden brown. When it's all over you'll be exhausted, starving, and completely proud of what you've done. YOU JUST LEARNED HOW TO MAKE SOFT PRETZELS AT HOME.
Let this be your weekend project.
Mini Soft Pretzels
What You'll Need:
2 cups warm water (between 105-110 degrees F) 1 tablespoon plus 2 tablespoons sugar 1 packet active dry yeast 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 1 tablespoon salt 2 teaspoons canola or other neutral oil (I used vegetable oil) 1/4 cup baking soda 1 large egg Coarse sea salt
Find the recipe for these soft pretzels on Smitten Kitchen!
And here's a fun little video from Joy the Baker in case you want to see the pretzel making magic in action.