HOW TO MAKE SOFT PRETZELS

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Today, I was reading CNN money, and I came across the life story of the Auntie Anne owner. For those who are unfamiliar with Auntie Anne’s, it  is a famous pretzel shop here in the USA. It is located in malls and airports. Anyway, she said that she was raised as an Amish. She talked about how she lost her daughter to an accident and how this loss put a strain in her marriage and how it led her to live a miserable marriage. In spite of being a Christian, she had an affair with the pastor who counselled her during the tough times.
soft pretzels
In my judgmental point of view, that would have been enough to mock her as a person and mock her as a hypocrite. But rather, I saw her as I saw myself – a sinner. I was once a sinner but now I am forgiven, redeemed by the death and resurrection of Christ. Then she found hope, she accepted the forgiveness, she stood up confidently before her God and turned her life around. She was blessed in spite of her past indiscretions, her husband forgave her. Currently,they are happily married and they are giving financial and emotional support in their community. She let the saving power of God make the past be a past.

This is the power of forgiveness and humility – they give you hope. You can try life once again, and then create a master piece of your life.

Although the Auntie Annne’s life was an inspiration, how about let us talk about this pretzel masterpiece. It came about after the second attempt. It was a result after throwing the first dough and trying making another one. It was the result of not giving up after the first mistake…

I made the mortal sin of recipe reading – the mistake of not reading through the whole recipe from top to bottom. The top of the recipe said 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter. I melted all the 8 tablespoon and pour it all into the flour mixture. By not reading the lower part of the recipe, I missed the part in which you just have to use 2 tablespoon of the butter for the dough and the remaining 6 tablespoon butter is for dipping. The result, a ridiculously wet,gooey, unusable goop. What a waste of butter, yeast and flour.

Now that the goop is in the trash, I am starting over again. Hmmm, life is like that too. You have to forgive yourself and start over again. Do it continually, and you will get a delicious life. I mean pretzels.

PS : You will notice in the recipe that I mentioned over and over again how many tablespoon to use. I do not want you to make the same mistake. I will say it again, ” 2 TABLESPOON FOR THE DOUGH AND THE REMAINING 6 TABLESPOON FOR THE DIPPING OF THE PRETZELS.” Do not get mad, I shouted at you. I just do not want you to make the same mistake I did. Here is the link for Auntie Anne’s life and you can bake this Walnut Banana Bread for the left over walnut you got.

EASIEST SOFT PRETZELS TO MAKE

Ingredients

FOR PRETZEL DOUGH:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast = to 1 packet fast rise yeast ( I use the fast rise yeast – the one in which you do not dissolve)
2 tablespoon unsalted butter (NOTE: IN THIS WHOLE RECIPE, WE USED A TOTAL OF 8 TABLESPOON BUTTER . Divide it in 6 tablespoon for dipping the pretzels and 2 tablespoon for the dough)
3 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 cup milk
DISSOLVED BAKING SODA MIXTURE:
3 cups water
1/3 cups baking soda
FOR THE WALNUT TOPPING:
1/8 cup ground walnut ( it was not ground on the picture. You have to grind it using electric chopper.
1/4 cup white or brown sugar
6 tablespoon ( this is the part of the 6 tbsp butter mentioned above. refrigerate left over. We are making another pretzel this week)

Instructions

  • Prepare your baking sheet as shown in the picture. I greased the bottom of the sheet with oil then top it with parchment paper and grease it too. I used two baking sheets here.This will not burn the pretzel’s bottom too much. Set aside.
  • Place baking soda and hot water ( I use the warm water from the faucet. No need to boil or microwave) and set aside.
  • Place all purpose flour, salt and yeast in a stand mixer bowl. Mix using spoon or wire whisk. Set aside.
  • Place the sugar, milk and butter in a small bowl or microwavable cup and mix them so that the sugar will somehow dissolve. Then microwave for 1 minute and thirty seconds.
  • Pour milk mixture into the flour mixture.
  • Knead the dough by hand or by using the electric mixer until dough is pliable and smooth.
  • If the dough is gooey just put some flour into your hands and it will make it easier to work on the dough.
  • Form into a ball and place into greased bowl to rise.
  • Let the dough rise in a warm place for an hour. ( See notes below)
  • After an hour, Preheat oven at 450 F
  • Form the dough as shown on the above picture or go to http://easytocookmeals.com/step-by-step-photo-on-how-to-twist-pretzels/
  • Then dip it in the melted baking soda make sure to drain the water
  • Arrange in a baking sheet
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes ( you have to pay attention because the bottom of the pretzels will get burn.
  • When the pretzels are baked, MELT THE 4 TABLESPOON BUTTER dip the top of the pretzels into a melted butter and roll top on the the sugared walnut.
  • ENJOY!

Notes

I use fast rise yeast the one where you do not dissolve in water Tips to make the dough rise: Heat oven to at 220 F for 1 minute then turn off. This will become the warm place where I let my dough rise. Place the dough there for one hour.

This recipe came from Food Network. I just changed the process of cooking to make it easier for me.