Soft pretzels - Photo credit: Young Kim Full view

Soft pretzels

Originating in Europe, pretzels have become a staple food in American culture. Soft pretzels can be found in shopping malls, movie theaters, and gas stations all over the United States.

Pretzels are most commonly sprinkled with salt, but in the past century have been seasoned with a more wild array of seasonings. Popular pretzel seasonings include, but is not limited to, nuts, cinnamon, sugar, cheese, and chocolate.

Add any seasonings you desire to this pretzel recipe for a savory or sweet snack.

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Photo credit: Young Kim

Ingredients:

One packet of active dry yeast

1 cup of warm water

1 tablespoon of melted butter

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of salt

3 cups of flour

2 cups of water

4 tablespoons of baking soda

1 tablespoon of coarse salt, for topping

6 tablespoons of melted butter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees, and grease a baking sheet.

2. Combine yeast with warm water and sugar in a large bowl. Wait for the mixture to become frothy. Then stir in salt and melted butter.

3. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, while you mix with a spoon, until a dough forms and is no longer sticky. The dough is ready to knead when it is bouncy and tacky. Knead for about five minutes.

4. Place the dough back into the bowl after kneading and let it rise for 30 minutes.

5. While you let the dough rest prepare the baking soda bath. In a large pan boil 2 cups of water and the baking soda. Wait for the baking soda to mostly dissolve and take off heat.

6. When the dough is ready after thirty minutes take out of the bowl and cut into eight equal parts.

7. Take each part and roll into a shape of a long thin rope. At this time shape into a pretzel. When the pretzels are in their shape place each pretzel into the baking soda bath, which should be lukewarm in temperature at this point, submerging the pretzel briefly into the water, saturating all parts of the dough.

8. When each pretzel has been bathed in the baking soda bath place each on the grease pan, allowing plenty of room, 4-6 inches, in between each pretzel to allow for growth.

9. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Or until the pretzels have reached a golden brown color. When taken out of the oven brush the pretzels with the melted butter and sprinkle with the coarse salt.

Written by Victoria Petersen

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