Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Soft Pretzels

I'm not a big soft pretzel gal, but two people have asked, one of which was my husband, so I decided to give it a whirl.  This was supposed to be last weeks post, but I failed to read the recipe all the way through before starting the project (common problem for me), and didn't realize how long the dough had to rest.

We made a half batch from this Allrecipes recipe, and on my husband’s suggestion we made half salted, and half cinnamon and sugar.

You will need

1 (.25 oz) packet dry yeast ($2.19 per 3 packets, $2.19/3 = $.73)

1 cup warm water (free)

½ cup sugar ($3.29 per 5 lb, $3.29/ 80oz = $.04 x 3.75oz = $.16)

1 tsp salt ($.47 per 26oz, $.47/30.69tsp = $.02)

2 Tbsp organic butter, softened ($5.49 per lb, $5.49/32 Tbsp = $.17 x 2 Tbsp= $.34)

½ an organic egg (whisk in a bowl and eyeball half the whisked egg) ($3.19 per dozen, $3.19/24 = $.13)

3 ¼ cups organic flour ($4.99 per 5 lb, $4.99/80oz = $.06 x 17.88oz = $1.12)

1 organic egg yolk ($3.19 per dozen, $3.19/12 = $.27)

2 Tbsp water (free)

About 2 Tbsp coarse salt (I used kosher) ($2.99 per 48oz, $2.99/94.42 Tbsp = $.03 x 2 Tbsp = $.06)

About 1 tsp cinnamon ($1.97 per 2.37oz, $1.97 x .067 oz = $.13)
This is what I consider stiff dough, which was a little over 3 cups of flour, total.
Dissolve yeast in warm water in the bowl of a mixer.  Add ¼ cup of the sugar, salt, butter and egg, mix till combined.  Stir in 1 ½ cups of flour; mix until smooth.  Add enough additional flour to make a stiff dough (mine came to about 3 cups, total).  Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate for 2-24 hours (Or, forget about the project, and refrigerate it for 27 hours like me!). 
After 27 hours in the fridge, here is the risen dough.
My log divided into 16 pieces.

Punch the dough down. On a lightly floured surface, cut your dough into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 20-inch rope, and shape it into whatever you like.  Place pretzels on a greased baking sheet.
In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and water; brush over the pretzels. Sprinkle with salt or with the combined remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 25 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees  for 15 minutes or until brown.

Spencer had his own piece, which he promptly destroyed.
A few of my ropes.  Why use a fabric measuring tape?  Because it's been out for days since Spencer uses it as his "Game Show" for it's button.
Here's what the baby was doing during our pretzel shaping.

Even though this project took a while, it was a fun one.  To divide the dough into equal pieces I shaped it into a log, then divided it in half, then halved the halves, then halved those, and cut it longwise.  I had trouble rolling the pieces out into ropes on the counter, but found success rolling them between my hands, instead. (Side note- for some reason rolling them in my hands brought the theme song to Pee Wee's Playhouse to my head, and I couldn't shake it!)
I shaped them on the counter and transferred them to the pan, but I would recommend shaping them on the pan, they got a little misshapen in transit.

Don't they look tasty?  There are only 15, Spencer's never made it to the oven.  The ones on the right are salt, and the ones on the left are cinnamon-sugar.
Try It

$2.96 for 16 pretzels, or $.19 per pretzel.  

Buy It

$3.49 for 6 frozen Super Pretzels, or $.58 per pretzel.


Well, I didn’t have time to weigh the pretzels before I left for the weekend with my sisters, and when I got back all the ones that I had frozen were gone.  So they are tasty, even after being frozen and defrosted (at least according to my husband!), but I have no way to compare the cost accurately. 

I wasn't blown away, but the only time I eat a soft pretzel is on the rarest of occasion when the planets align and I am both in the mall AND neeeeeding a treat that isn’t coffee.  Therefore, I will conclude that if you are a pretzel person, by all means Try It, and try it with your kids, Spencer loved that he got to play with the dough!  If you are like me, stick to the mall pretzels, they’re way more pretzely.  My biggest complaint is that they just seemed like flavored bread, but my husband disagreed, and especially loved the cinnamon sugar ones which he said was like a pastry (he doesn’t eat a love of sugar).

NEXT WEEK: Anniversary Post!! 

1 comment:

  1. This looks fun! I loved the photos of your two "helpers" too ;-) -- Anna JOhnson