A good soft pretzel is a rare treat. I'm not talking about the bland leavened things you might get with a cup of cheese at the movie theater. To me a pretzel is leavened bread, it's rich and salty, the crust is doughy and rubbery and the crumb is soft and flavorful. This type of pretzel is more than a simple snack. A good pretzel begs to be dipped in cheese or spicey mustard and it holds up on it's own when added to those bold flavors.
4 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour (dry)
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt (dry)
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar (dry)
2 teaspoons instant yeast (dry)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (95 degrees) (wet)
2 tablespoons olive oil (wet)
2 cups warm water (100 degrees), for dipping
- I combined the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Then I added the water/oil and mixed the dough into a course ball.
- After that I kneaded it until it was just right.
- Once perfect, I placed my dough into an oiled bowl and covered it with plastic wrap.
- Two hours later I punched down the dough.
- Three hours later I came back and made the pretzels. Shaping pretzels is easy; you'll figure it out.
- When the pretzels were made I hand dipped them in the baking soda mixture.
- Then I sprinkled on coarse sea salt because that is what I had in the house.