It snowed Friday night in Vancouver and turned Vancouver into a sunny, white, winter wonderland Saturday morning. There's nothing better than cooking for people on a winter day - it really is the ultimate in terms of comfort. I woke up early, headed for a chilly breakfast outside at local cafe and then hurried home to fire up the oven and get started.
Holly (from the last Homemade Baileys post) & I had been dying to try making homemade soft pretzels. We turned on the Christmas playlist, made some tweaks to a recipe we found and then had people over to help us drink beer, roll pretzels and feast on them until after sundown. Such a great day. Cooking is amazing, but it truly is sharing it with friends that makes it worthwhile.
This recipe is super easy. We thought it would be harder - with the dough making, rolling, shaping, boiling and baking. But, it's super simple and easy - and the results are delicious.
So here's what you need:
- 1 + 1/2 Cups warm water
- 1 Tbsp Yeast (we used fleischmann's quick rise)
- 4 + 1/2 Cups Flour
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Sugar
- 1/2 Cup warm milk (we just popped it in the microwave for 30 secs)
- 1-2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Rosemary
- Butter & Sea Salt (Kosher is best) for garnish
- Start by putting the Yeast & Warm Water in a bowl and stirring to activate it
- In the meantime, combine the Flour, Salt & Sugar in a separate bowl
- Add the dry ingredients and milk to the yeast and water and mix (we used a kitchenaid with a dough hook)
- Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover to keep from drying out. Let rise in a warm space for 1-2 hours. We left ours for 2hrs to go pick up some other food to accompany the pretzels
- Preheat the over to 500F
- Remove the dough and punch it/ squish it to get the excess air out
- We split the recipe in half and folded the rosemary into one half at this point - that way we got both plain and rosemary pretzels in one go. If you only want rosemary, we'd recommend adding it at the mixing stage (above)
- Divide dough entire dough recipe into about 6-9 pieces (depending on what size pretzel you want). 6 will make rather larger and 9 will make the smaller ones you see in the photos
- Roll out the dough (on a lightly floured surface) into ropes using your fingertips
- Take the end of the two ropes, pull up, cross over and fold down to achieve the pretzel shape
- repare a boiling water bath with water and baking soda
- Gently place the pretzels in water for 30 secs
- Put pretzels on a baking sheet with parchment
- Brush with melted butter and sprinkle sparingly with salt
- Bake for about 12-14 minutes - or until golden brown on top
- After they come out f the oven, brush with a tiny bit more butter - and they're ready to serve!
We served the pretzels with a super spicy dijon mustard and a plain, classic yellow mustard.
Our beer of choice to go with the pretzels was a Hefeweizen - White Bark and Kronenburg Blanc are definitely my favourites. We also mixed the beer with apple cider, nutmeg and cinnamon, for a festive Christmas twist.
Throw in some cheese and salami and you're ready to celebrate! Enjoy - Oh, and don't forget a crackling fire and some Christmas tunes :)