Soft Pretzel Twists-
Our sweet Izzy had surgery on Thursday morning ( those on facebook already know the story). I am very sorry if I didn’t make it to your Thursday Favorite Things link. He had an adult canine tooth removed and gum surgery and then he was neutered….He’s doing well and he has been babied and snuggled even more than usual, which is A LOT! Giggle, he is our sweet shaggy baby after all. We enjoyed Autumn temperatures on Saturday. It felt like the perfect time for football and soft pretzel twists. My husband enjoyed them while he watched the Michigan football game on television ( he’s from Michigan) .
What You Need
- 1 Package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp. Splenda (or sugar)
- 3/4 tsp. Salt
- 4 1/2 Cups flour
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. Olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 2 Tbsp. baking soda
- Your choice of toppings -sea salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, shredded Parmesan, shredded Cheddar, coarsely ground pepper, raw sugar, cinnamon and sugar combination, etc.
- 2 Large bowls
- Clean Tea Towel
- Cooking thermometer
- Microwavable measuring cup (or bowl)
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Electric mixer
- Deep skillet
- Slotted spatula
Before You Start – Prepare a clean work surface for kneading the dough and lightly flour the surface. This recipe requires rising of the dough (about 45 minutes) preheat oven at about 30 minutes of rising time to 400 ° Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
Let’s Make It! Combine the yeast, Splenda (sugar), salt and 2 cups of the flour in a large mixing bowl. Warm 1 1/2 cups of water in the microwave until it registers 130° on the cooking thermometer (about 1.45 minutes) Add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil to the water and then add the water oil mixture to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium high-speed beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add 1/2 cup at a time of flour until you have added 2 more cups of flour. Continue mixing until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto your lightly floured surface. Using your hands (lightly flour your hands) knead in 1/2 cup of the remaining flour until dough is smooth (add more flour if dough is sticky) knead for 3 minutes. Coat the bottom and sides of a clean large bowl with the remaining olive oil. Place the dough into the bowl, and then turn it over, so it is olive oil side up in the bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rest in a warm place until it doubles in size (about 45 minutes) remember to preheat your oven about 30 minutes into the rising time.
After the dough has risen, using your knuckles, punch down the dough (you’re not boxing so don’t go crazy) and then cut into 8 pieces. Lightly flour your hands and roll each piece into about a 1/2-inch rope. Working with one rope at a time, shape the pretzel twists (or pretzel shapes) and dot the ends with water to help it stick together. Place onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
In a large deep skillet, bring 5 cups of water and the baking soda to a simmer over medium high heat. Place a couple of pretzels at a time into the water and simmer for 30 seconds, then using the slotted spatula turn them over and simmer 30 seconds more. Using the spatula, transfer back onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle with your desired toppings ( I went a little crazy with the salt). Repeat with the remaining pretzels. Bake on the top rack of the oven until dark golden brown (about 20- 25 minutes.)