Oh hello Julie Andrews, yes, these are a few of my favorite things.
I want to swan dive into this bowl.
That is a rarity for me too. I don’t indulge in these types of foods all that often, but if you know me well, you know my devotion to pretzel runs as deep as Paula Deens love of butter. There’s something about them. Heck, just walking past Auntie Anne’s in the American terminal at LGA (only of the two restaurants in the entire terminal, mind you) nearly makes my self-control melt.
This isn’t an original recipe. I love baking breads – it’s one of my favorite things to cook, but there’s a very specific magic to creating said recipes. One that I don’t claim to have mastered in the slightest.
This recipe is from my friends over on epicurious.
And I’ll admit, they’re a little labor of love. All breads are. They’re high maintenance and an exact science and take a lot of TLC. Tons of patience. But I think that’s why I find them so satisfying to make. You cut and roll and knead and repeat and then it rises and into the oven it goes, and the whole room smells so fantastic that you forget about the work that went into them. Let’s be honest, they’re worth it.
Baking breads is like therapy, basically. You work out the bread, you work through the things in your mind and hearty sips of sauv blanc (what, it’s GAME DAY, so you have to pregame) also help along the way.
Besides there’s something about playing with raw dough. It’s like playdoh for adults, no? no you don’t think so? That’s just a me thing, huh?
Anywho. There is no better time to indulge in your favorite snacks than this Sunday. I usually have a stomachache by halftime from consuming so many dips and cheese and tons of these little guys.
I promise you that these will be every fan’s favorite dish for game day. As I sit here I’m realizing that I should probably figure out who Tom brady is. It’s a bird right. Hold on.
THE EAGLES. Ok. Phew. Tom brady and the eagles — sounds like a catchy little 90s band, no?
Who do I root for? I think the Eagles. Mostly because Tom Brady has all these other wins and is married to Gisele and it throws off the balance of the world if someone is THAT lucky.
So really, it’s for the good of humanity.
- Pretzel Dough:
- 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°F)
- 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
- 3 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour plus more for work surface
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, well softened
- Vegetable oil for bowl
- Baking Pretzels:
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- Pretzel salt (see Cooks' Notes) or coarse kosher salt
- Make Pretzel Dough:
- Stir together warm water and yeast in a large bowl and let stand until a creamy beige foam develops on the surface, about 10 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, start over with new yeast.)
- Meanwhile, in a smaller bowl, stir together flour, salt, and light brown sugar.
- Add flour mixture and butter to yeast mixture, and stir together first with a wooden spoon and then with your hands, until it forms a dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until it is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes, dusting with more flour as needed if dough sticks to work surface.
- Transfer dough to a lightly oiled large bowl and turn over to coat with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let rise in a draft-free place at room temperature until doubled, 2 to 3 hours.
- Alternatively, after kneading, let dough rest at room temperature for 15 minutes, then transfer to oiled bowl as above, and let rise in the refrigerator overnight (12 hours or up to 2 days).
- Punch down dough and divide into quarters. Form each quarter into 4 balls. Roll each ball into a 12-inch-long rope. Cut each rope into six (2-inch) pieces, and transfer to wax paper–lined rimmed baking sheets.
- Bake Pretzels:
- Heat oven to 450°F with racks in upper and lower third. Well oil 2 large baking sheets (about 17- by 12- inches).
- In a 4- to 5-quart saucepan, bring water and baking soda to a boil (mixture will be foamy at first, but foam will dissipate). Add 12 pretzel bites and cook 30 seconds (they will rise to the surface almost immediately), then transfer with a slotted spoon to baking sheets. Quickly sprinkle pretzel bites lightly on both sides with pretzel salt before they dry (so salt sticks). Repeat with remaining pretzel bites, returning water to a boil between batches.
- Bake pretzel bites in oven, switching sheets between racks and rotating sheets halfway through baking, until deep chestnut brown, 8 to 10 minutes (watch closely toward end of baking; bites brown quickly in last few minutes). Immediately transfer pretzel bites to wire racks to cool. Makes 6 dozen.