Easy Nonfat Giant Soft Pretzels–without weird ingredients!
Okay, one of the big mysteries of fast-food purchasing for me has always been those delicious giant hot pretzels. I always wondered how to do it, and all my attempts at shaping bread dough into pretzel shapes have been, while delicious (I mean, fresh homemade bread products of any kind are usually going to be lovely), hardly what I was looking for.
So today, my kids and I found a few online recipes and realized we could make these without any rising time, in maybe 45 minutes total, with only about 5 ingredients. And the result tasted exactly like I remember hot pretzels tasting when I used to buy them, only these have whole wheat flour and nothing weird in them.
So–on the next rainy day, try these with your short people, or just for the heck of it!
Giant Soft Pretzels
- 1 cup (plus a few tbs) lukewarm water
- 1.5 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 cups flour (mixture of unbleached all purpose and whole wheat, if you wish)
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 1/2-1 tsp salt
- Coarse sea salt crystals to sprinkle on pretzels at baking time; alternatively, dipping them into a cinnamon/sugar mixture would be equally delicious.
- large saucepan with 2 quarts boiling water
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- Put pan of water with baking soda on to boil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Prepared greased baking sheet (not absolutely necessary, but this will make it much easier to get the pretzels off the sheet.)
- In large bowl, mix 1 cup water and yeast; let soften a few minutes
- Add flour, brown sugar, and salt; mix till soft dough forms. (Add a little more water as needed)
- Knead 5-10 minutes till dough is soft and elastic
- Cut into 8 equal sized pieces; roll into skinny 20 inch ropes and form into pretzel shapes
- 1 or 2 at a time only, drop pretzels into boiling water/soda for 15-30 seconds; remove with slotted spoon or spatula and place on baking sheet. (If you wish, this would be when you’d dip them into cinnamon/sugar or other spice mixture; otherwise, wait and sprinkle them all with salt before going into the oven
- Bake at 425 about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
VERDICT: Seriously, seriously good! Apparently it’s the baking soda in the boiling pot that gives you that “pretzelly” texture and flavor; now that I know this, I may use this method with other rolls and breads to make pretzel baguettes and things like that I know my kids love. And much much easier and less messy than I would have thought.
Please, before you go buying any of the weird commercial ones (check out an ingredients list on the frozen ones in the grocery store, for example!), try this!