April 27, 2012

Soft Pretzels

Some of my fondest memories with my dad growing-up involved soft pretzels and baseball games. Since we lived in Seattle, the Mariners were always horrible and the Kingdome was literally (as in ceiling tiles coming off) falling apart, but the soft pretzels were always delicious. Even badly made soft pretzels hold a special place in my heart. They remind me of the afternoons with my dad at baseball games. My mom sold Tupperware to make ends meet growing-up so most evenings and weekends she was gone hosting parties. Now I love my mom, but she had a narcotic system of color coding the food dishes that she left for my dad and I to eat. My dad was good about eating my moms color coded food most of the time, but about once a month we would sneak out and have 'real' food. By 'real' food I mean fast food and soft pretzels. We never spent a lot, and somehow my dad always was able to get us seats at the game without paying. To this day that is one of the best things about my dad, he knows someone that works everywhere. I never knew we didn't have a lot of money because my dad could befriend anyone and get us into any event that I wanted. Pretty much my dad was awesome. So long story short, I love soft pretzels! Given these fond memories, I was excited when I saw a recipe in the February issue of Woman's Day for Soft Pretzels.

This recipe has 6 ingredients. It takes 2 hours of total time, 50 minutes of which is active and makes 8 servings. I had all of the ingredients already in my cupboard and made no ingredient modifications. I would suggest to make sure that your pretzels are much bigger than you think they should be. As you can see by the picture at the top of the post, my pretzels ended up rising more while I was rolling out the rest of the batch and ended up looking more like a fancy bagel. They still tasted great, but visually they didn't look like a typical pretzel. The one thing that I would change with the recipe would be to double the amount of water and baking soda that the pretzels are boiled in. By the time the last batch of pretzels went in the water there was barely enough left for them to be fully boiled. I think doubling amount would remedy the situation. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
These pretzels turned out delicious! My husband and two boys ate the entire batch in less than two hours. A great thing that my husband discovered was that they made a great bun for a veggie burger. They created a salty bun that would work well with a variety of burger types. I tried a bit of the burger he made using this method and it was yummy! I will definitely try this idea when I make this recipe again. I experimented with the toppings, I did two with kosher salt, one with bacon salt, one with buffalo pretzel salt, one with an Asian spice rub and one with sugar. I love that I could make the toppings however I wanted. Overall, a very easy soft pretzel recipe that's much cheaper than stadium pretzels and can be tailor made to your topping tastes.

For the recipe go to Soft Pretzels.
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