Siddiqi of The Sophisticated Gourmet is a detail-oriented baker. He often tests recipes numerous times just
to make sure they’re perfect, and these delicious soft pretzels are no
exception. Inspired by the too-good-to-be-true warm pretzels for sale on New
York City street corners, Kamran created his own version that boasts
less salt than other recipes you’ll find out there. While these may seem complicated, it's one of those recipes you’ll pat yourself on the back for: Most of the
time involved is simply in letting the dough rise, and before you know it
you’ll have warm pretzels perfect for a small gathering of friends or a late
night study session. And they reheat beautifully—after all, no one said
pretzels weren’t allowed at the breakfast table.
Recipe Notes: You don’t need
any special equipment for this recipe, although five minutes or so of
kneading is required. For help shaping the pretzels, see Kamran’s great step-by-step photos.
2 1/4 teaspoons (1/4 ounces; 1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 teaspoons (8 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) warm water (100 degrees to 110 degrees)
1 cup (128 grams) bread flour
2 cups (256 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
Vegetable oil, for bowl and
1/4 cup (72 grams) baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pretzel salt /
course grain sea salt
1 teaspoon water
1. Mix yeast, sea salt,
sugar and warm water in a small bowl, whisking until sugar dissolves. Let
stand until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Place flour into a large
bowl. Using two butter knives, a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut the
butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Slowly pour yeast mixture
over flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon or your hands to combine.
Using your hands, gather dough together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured
surface, and knead until it is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes.
4. Lightly brush a large bowl
with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm
place, until the dough has doubled in size, about an hour.
5. Cut dough into 12 equal
pieces, and roll each into an 18-inch rope. Form a U shape with 1 rope, and
twist ends together twice. Fold twisted portions backward along center of U
shape to form a circle, then gently press ends of rope onto dough to seal.
Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, and repeat. Let rise for 20 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bring
a large pot of water to a boil, and add baking soda and 1 1/2 tablespoons
granulated sugar. Boil pretzels in batches until puffed and slightly shiny, 1
to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to wire racks to drain. Place pretzels on an
oiled baking sheet.
7. Mix the 1 teaspoon water
and egg in a small bowl. Brush each pretzel with the egg wash. Sprinkle them
with the pretzel salt or course grain sea salt.
8. Bake until golden brown
and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Pretzels will keep, uncovered at room
temperature for up to 12 hours.
9. Re-warm in a 250-degree
oven if desired, toast the pretzels in a toaster and serve with mustards.