Soft Bread Pretzels

Makes: 8

Ingredients

Pretzel dough

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Quick-rise yeast
  • 320ml warm water
  • 65ml olive oil

Soda Bath

  • 3 litres water, boiling
  • 1/2 cup bicarbonate of soda

To finish

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • Sea salt flakes

Method

  1. Lightly oil a large bowl and set aside for the dough later
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, salt (to one side), yeast (to opposite side) and brown sugar
  3. Add in olive oil and 250ml warm water and mix on low setting to combine the ingredients. Add in remaining water, if needed, to achieve a soft, slightly sticky dough. Continue to knead in the machine for a total of 7 minutes. (if you’re mixing the traditional way, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir using your  hand (in a claw shape) until the all come together. Tip out onto a lightly oiled surface and continue to knead for 10 mins until the dough is soft and slightly sticky)
  4. Tip the dough from the mixer bowl into the prepared oiled bowl, cover and set aside in a warm place to proof for at least 45 minutes, or until doubled in size
  5. Before you start working on the dough pieces, bring the 3 litres of water to a rolling boil in a large pot and add in the bicarbonate of soda
  6. Once the dough has finished proofing, tip out onto a lightly oiled surface. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and, in turn, divide each piece into 4 equal pieces. This will give you 8 equal pieces of dough to work with
  7. Roll each piece of dough into a long strand/rope approximately 30 inches in length. Take each end of the dough “rope” in the opposite hand and cross over simultaneously. Cross them over again to bring back the ends back to their original sides whilst bringing the tips down to the base of the loop. You should end up with a rough “heart” shape with the overlapping stands inside. Press the ends of the strands onto the loop so they stick
  8. Preheat your oven to 400°F
  9. This next bit is fiddly and a little patience & perseverance may be needed. Carefully pick up and drop the assembled pretzel to the pot of boiling soda solution (I use a slotted spatula) Take caution as there may be some splashing. Allow the pretzel to boil for 20 seconds (it should rise to the surface), the using a slotted spatula flip the pretzel on to it’s oppose side and continue to boil for another 20 seconds. Remove with the slotted spatula, drain and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough pretzels
  10. Brush each of the pretzels liberally with the melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt flakes to personal taste
  11. Bake in the your preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and brush with any remaining butter if desired. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly
  12. The pretzels are at their best enjoyed warm or fresh on the day of baking

 

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