Saturday, May 29, 2010

More Snack Food--Soft Pretzels

Picnics are probably one of my most favorite times growing up...and holiday picnics were even better.  I love the community of family and friends coming together, celebrating the day and sharing good food.  We had some great picnics, not only at my Mom's, but later when I was married, and living in other states, having friends over brought back those memories. 

Soft pretzels come to mind as one of those great warm weather snacks; tastes great with lemonade or a cold beer, provides salt to balance electrolytes, and the carbs keep you going until the main entrees are ready!  I like mine with melted cheese (Velveeta!) but my brothers would have chosen a spicy, honey mustard.  Creating this popular snack will be a hit at your next picnic...I guaranteeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Soft Pretzels
1 pkg. or 1 scant T of dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105F to 115F-degrees)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2-2/3 cup cold water

2 T baking soda
1/2 cup cold water
Pretzel Salt (Coarse)
2 T melted butter

Dissolve the dry yeast into the warm water.  Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp. sugar over yeast.  Let rest for 5-7 minutes until foamy.  In the food processor bowl, process the flour and salt.  Add the foamy yeast and pulse for 5 seconds.  While the processor is running add the cold water, starting with just 1/2 cup.  Add more water just until the dough comes together in a ball.
Turn out onto board and knead a few minutes.  Place into a one-gallon plastic bag coated with Crisco Oil Spray (like PAM).  Let rise 30 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 400F-degrees.
Mix the baking soda and water in a shallow bowl.  Punch down the dough and divide it into 8-equal pieces.
  Roll each piece into a 16-inch rope and twist into a pretzel shape.
Dip each in the baking soda solution and place on an oiled baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven, brush with melted butter and cool slightly on wire racks.  Serve warm.  Makes 8 pretzels.  Enjoy!


  1. Yum! My oldest son loves fresh pretzels (I do too!)
    I am going to be putting on some weight here Susan with all of your incredible recipes I will be trying! : ) lol
    We went to a birthday party this weekend at a new friends house (later I found out the mother is a personal chef) everything was so good! She made appetizers that reminded me of the look of your homemade rolls, they were bread wrapped around asparagus and cheese. Enjoy your weekend xoxo

  2. Soft pretzels are good any time of year!! The kids (and husband) always helped me tie the big knots---it was great family fun! I must try your recipe---I've never dipped the pretzels in the baking soda solution.