Soft Butter Pretzels

  

December 14, 2018

Always a favorite, soft pretzels are adaptable to your taste delights. Make them classic with coarse salt and serve up with nacho cheese dip or sweeten the deal with cinnamon and sugar and a cream cheese dip. Excellent as a snack, tailgating, party buffet, or dipped in warm brothy soup.
Come holiday gift giving swap out neighbor gift cookies and candies with a fun bag of tasty homemade Soft Buttery Pretzels.

  • Yields: 12 Servings

Ingredients

1 ¼ cups warm water

1 envelop dry active yeast (about 2 ½ teaspoons)

¼ cup sugar

4 cups flour, more as needed

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter, divided, and melted

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon water

6 cups boiling water

3 tablespoons baking soda

Coarse pretzel salt, season salt, or cinnamon sugar

Dipping sauce of choice (see below)

Directions

Stir together warm water, yeast and 1-teaspoon sugar; set aside 5-10 minutes to dissolve and foam.

Whisk together about 3 ¾-cups flour, remaining sugar and salt. Stir in yeast and 2-tablespoons melted butter. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead in remaining flour, continue to knead until smooth. Place dough in clean oiled bowl, cover loosely and allow to raise until double in size (about 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2-large baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Beat together egg yolk with 1-tablespoon water, set aside.

Punch down or remove air from dough. Divide in half, place half the dough back in bowl and cover. Cut remaining dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a rope about 24-30 inch long rope. Form each rope in a U shape, bring ends together and cross twice to form a twist; fold twisted ends back over circle to form classic pretzel shape. Place pretzels on baking sheet.

Whisk until dissolved 6-cups water and the baking soda. Pour into a large wide shallow pan and bring to a boil. Place 1 to 2 pretzels at a time in boiling soda water for 30 seconds; carefully remove pretzels with a large slotted spatula and place back on baking sheet. Brush with egg and water mixture, sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with remaining melted butter.

Repeat with remaining dough. Serve warm with nacho cheese sauce or dipping sauce.

If desired, eliminate coarse salt; brush with egg wash and bake as directed above; brush baked pretzels with butter and generously sprinkle or dip in cinnamon and sugar. Experiment with flavored salts, and seasonings to taste preference.

Cream Cheese Dipping Sauce

1 package (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup heavy cream (more to taste)
Soften cream cheese in microwave as needed. Stir together until well blended softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Thin to desired consistency by stirring in 1-tablespoon cream at a time. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, warm in microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring between bursts. As needed, add additional cream to thin. Sprinkle top with cinnamon

Cranberry Cheese Dip

1 package (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
¼ cup whole cranberry sauce
1 orange
Chopped pecans, garnish to taste
Combine cream cheese and cranberry sauce (if needed, microwave to soften in 10 second burst, stirring between burst). Zest or finely grate the peel of 1 orange. Squeeze juice from orange. Stir half the zest and 2-3 tablespoons orange juice into cream cheese mixture. Add additional juice and zest to create desired consistency and taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. As needed, microwave 5-10 seconds and thin with additional juice. Garnish with chopped pecans.

Cheese Pretzel Dip

1 package (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
2-4 teaspoons ranch dressing mix, more or less to taste
1 cup shredded sharp cheese
¼ cup ginger ale
Sliced green onions, garnish to taste
As needed, soften cream cheese in microwave. Blend together cream cheese, 2-teaspoons ranch dressing mix and sharp cheese. Stir in ginger ale 1-tablespoon at a time until desired consistency. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Dip will stiffen up as it cools, microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring between bursts. Add additional ginger ale as needed to create desired consistency. Garnish with sliced green onions.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

¼ cup mustard
¼ cup mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
1 tablespoon honey, more or less to taste
May use half coarse dijon mustard and half yellow mustard. May also substitute a spicy mustard according to taste. Whisk together all ingredients; adjust honey to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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