Friday, October 25, 2013

traditional salt-and-butter pretzels - happy blogiversary!

I can't believe I started this blog an entire year ago.
It feels like yesterday I was writing this post and trying to decide how I was going to do this without getting overwhelmed.
And here I am, a full year later, twisting up pretzels like a pro.

For those of you that have stuck with me throughout this year, happy anniversary!
You have taught me so much, and I'm looking forward to another year of experimenting with you!

If you would have told me a year ago I'd be making pretzels once a week on average, I would've told you that you were crazy.
Had lost your mind, really.

Bread has always been really intimidating to me.
I'm the "dash of this, sprinkle of that" kind of girl, so anything that requires exact measurements tends to scare me a bit.
Once I even managed to ruin a loaf of French bread I was making in a breadmaker.

That's right.
I somehow botched a recipe that calls for a machine to do 99% of the work.

But, as I've gotten more comfortable in the kitchen, I've been more and more intrigued by the science behind baking bread.
I haven't done anything really fancy by any means, but I have gotten comfortable enough in my pretzel-making skills to finally share them with you!

I was inspired to give pretzels a try by my newest blog friend, Candace, and her recipe for Pumpkin Praline Pretzels.
Sounds right up my alley right?

I, however, am the only pumpkin-lover in my household, and since I don't need to eat eight full-sized pretzels on my own, I opted for the traditional route.
Butter and salt those babies up.

recipe adapted originally via
Things you'll need:

1 packet yeast {or 2 1/4 tsp if you have a jar of it like I do}
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp light brown sugar
3 1/2 - 4 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
9 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
2 tbsp butter, melted
sea salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
Whisk together yeast and warm water, until yeast has completely dissolved.
Whisk in salt and brown sugar.

One cup at a time, add flour to yeast mixture.
You don't want the dough to be sticky.
Usually this takes me about 4 cups of flour, maybe a tiny bit less.

Knead the dough for about 3 minutes.
Cut dough into 8-10 even-sized balls, depending on how large you want your pretzels to be.
I cut my dough into 8 balls, but next time I'm thinking of trying to make smaller, mini pretzels!
Roll each ball into a rope about a foot long, and form your pretzels.
Sally's Baking Addiction has a great picture example of how to do this if you're having trouble.

Bring water and baking soda to a boil, stirring to make sure baking soda dissolves.
Using a large slotted spoon {or a spatula}, dip the pretzels one by one into the baking soda bath.

Let them soak for about 30 seconds, then take lift them out, shake off any excess water, and place them on the foil-lined baking sheet.

This is what they should look like post-baking soda bath.
Place in the oven for 10 minutes.
While they're baking, melt butter.

After 10 minutes, brush them with butter using a pastry brush and sprinkle on sea salt {or rock salt, if you have it on hand}.
Put them back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
Serve immediately!

Does it get any easier than that?
For a homemade pretzel?
I don't think so.

Call me crazy, but I kind of have fun making these.
They don't take long at all, and the kneading is actually quite relaxing.
Instead of running off my stress, I like to knead it out.

I probably need to work on that.

Nonetheless, I recommend you give these a try this weekend.
You will not be disappointed.
They are becoming a Wednesday night tradition at our place.
The perfect snack to eat while watching the Survivor contestants eat rice and vote each other out of their respective tribes.
And let's be honest, food-related traditions are the best kind of traditions.

What are you up to this weekend?

Joe is running a 5K, and then we're heading to a pumpkin patch for lunch at Bella Luna Cafe and picking out pumpkins to carve!
Cool weather is among us, and I'm ready to get my carve on.
Funny design ideas will be happy accepted, if you have any!



  1. I love fresh pretzels and dipping them in cinnamon sugar butter or mustard. Now I really want one! Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a great weekend~

    1. I agree! Nothing beats a pretzel right out of the oven! Welcome and thanks for stopping by :)