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Erin Rosar
 
October 22, 2014 | Tasty Recipes | Erin Rosar

Soft Pretzels

 

Did you know that the pretzel was created in 610 AD by European Monks and it is said that it was made in the shape of a person with crossed arms and in prayer and the three holes represented the Holy Trinity. Its popularity grew when it was embraced by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages because it was allowed to be eaten during the 40 days of Lent when bread and eggs were banned.
In the 1700’s, the pretzel had become such a part of German culture that children wore them as necklaces to symbolize good luck and prosperity for the New Year.
The first commercial North American pretzel bakery was opened by German immigrants in 1861, in Lititz, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Today over 80% of American pretzels still come from Pennsylvania.

Ingredients

For The Dough

  • 3 tsp. instant dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp. white sugar
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt


For The Crust

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • Coarse Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
  • Cinnamon (optional)

Directions

 

  1. In a large bowl combine the yeast, warm water and sugar. Add in flour and salt and knead until smooth and well combined. This can be done by hand or with a stand mixer with a dough hook.
  2. Grease a second large bowl with butter or non-stick cooking spray and place mixed dough inside. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or a thick, clean dish towel and place in a warm location for 30 minutes. Do not move during this time as the yeast is activating and the dough is rising.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 F. Fit two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Carefully remove dough from bowl and divide into 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a rope by hand on lightly floured surface. Ropes should measure between 24 -26 inches long. Fold into pretzel shape – it will be like tying a
    loose knot. You can also do a long twist if you prefer or find it easier.
  5. In a bowl combine water and baking soda. Submerge each pretzel in the mixture and then place on baking sheet. (This will give it the light caramel colour) sprinkle with salt, or cinnamon and sugar if a sweet pretzel is desired.
    Let pretzel rest for 10 minutes before putting into oven to bake.
  6. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown. Brush with melted butter as soon as they are removed from oven and serve immediately.

 

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