Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone’s holidays were wonderful and you’re all looking forward to a new year full of possibilities. I certainly am. Lots of changes going on here and I’m just rolling with them the best I can. I’m quite pleased that the first blog post for this new year is a TwelveLoaves post. I’m really enjoying being part of this special baking group. It’s providing an impetus for me to get back into bread baking – something I really loved in the past but had let slip for a long time.
For this month’s TwelveLoaves challenge, I decided to attempt something I’d never tried before. Soft Pretzels. I looked at lots of recipes but finally settled on this one from King Arthur Flour. Who knows baking better than those experts, huh?
I made the recipe several times and even though I still have some work to do to perfect my pretzel forming skills, I’m telling you this recipe is definitely a keeper. I made one of the batches while our grandkids were here and they both gave them a big thumbs up. And, by the way, it just so happened that there was some warm queso dip going on the stovetop at the same time and BeeBop had the genius idea of combining the two. Ever had a warm pretzel dipped in queso? No? OMGosh are you missing out!
Combine all the dough ingredients in a large bowl and beat until well combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until soft and smooth.
Flour the dough and place it in a bag or bowl, covered, to rest for 30 minutes.
While the dough rests, make the topping. Combine the boiling water and baking soda in a medium bowl or large measuring cup, stirring until the soda is completely dissolved. Note: this mixture will overflow a one-cup measure, so a larger container is needed for mixing. Allow the soda-water mixture to sit and cool to room temperature while you proceed with the pretzels.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with either a light coat of oil or line it with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Allow the dough to sit uncovered for 5 minutes.
Pour the cooled soda-water into a 9” square pan.
Roll each piece of dough into a long thin rope and twist each into a pretzel shape.
Working with 4 pretzels at a time, place them into the soda-water. Spoon the water over the tops of the pretzels and leave them to sit in the water for 2 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula and place on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse kosher or pretzel salt. Allow the pretzels to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Bake for 8-9 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the pretzels from the oven and immediately brush with the melted butter. Continue brushing until all the butter is used. It’s pretty interesting how the pretzels turn a dark brown immediately when brushed with the butter.
Serve warm with mustard or cheese sauce.
What I was up to…
- One year ago: Sour Cream and Onion Cornbread and Mushroom Soup
- Two years ago: Chicken with Grits and Mama’s Ambrosia
- Three years ago: Meyer Lemon Chicken
- Four years ago: Shrimp and Grits and Winter Shrimp Salad
- Five years ago: Traditions and Red Rice
Twelve Loaves New Year Challenge: January 2015 HTML
Our host this month is Kim from NinjaBaker.com, and our theme is Happy New Year. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s tempting selection of #TwelveLoaves Holiday Breads!
- Ginger Brioche Loaf with a Lemony Drizzle from From My Sweet Heart
- Japanese White Bread from NinjaBaker
- La couronne des Rois from Ma che ti sei mangiato
- Pretzel Buns from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Rosca de Reyes from girlichef
- Rustic Baguettes from A Shaggy Dough Story
- Soft Pretzels from Never Enough Thyme
- Sweet Pretzels from Cake Duchess
- Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Muffins from Rhubarb and Honey
If you’d like to bake along with us this month, share your New Year Challenge bread using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!