Big, buttery, soft, warm, homemade pretzels! I watched Bobby Flay makes these on a Throw Down & knew that I had to try them. I was not definitely not disappointed! This recipe makes a wonderful pretzel. It has the texture of a traditional big soft pretzel & the buttery flavor of those delicious Auntie Anne's creations. They make a wonderful snack or appetizer & just wait till you try making sandwiches with them! Yum! The Jalapeno Cheese Sauce is perfect with them & so easy to make! Ingredients:
(for the Pretzels)
(for the Pretzels)
4-4 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 stick (1/2 cup) Butter, melted
1 1/2 cups warm Water
2 1/2 tsp Active, Dry Yeast
2 tbsp Light Brown Sugar
2 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tbsp Vegetable or Canola Oil
3/4 cup Baking Soda
1 egg beaten with 1/2 tbsp of Water
More Kosher Salt for top
(for the Jalapeno Cheese Sauce)
1 tbsp Butter
1 tsp All Purpose Flour
1 cup cup milk
3/4 cup White American Cheese, shredded
Jalapeno Pepper, chopped
Making this dough is easy & very similar to making pizza dough. In a small sauce pan, melt the stick of butter over low heat. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, brown sugar, warm water, & melted butter. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then on low speed, add 4 cups of flour reserving the last 1/2 cup. When the flour is incorporated, increase the speed to medium & knead for a few minutes, until the dough is smooth & not sticking to the sides. If the dough is too wet, add the rest of the flour, a little at a time. Dump the dough out onto a counter & knead a few times with your hands. Lightly oil the mixing bowl, add the dough, flipping to coat. Cover with a clean kitchen towel & let rise until it doubles in size. I always, pour hot water in a large bowl, put it on the bottom rack of my oven (turned off) and put my dough on the top shelf to rise. It seems to be the perfect, warm place for dough. I let the dough rise for about an hour. Then dumped it out on to my counter (with no extra flour or oil). If yours is too sticky, I would lightly oil the counter, with cooking spray or with more vegetable or canola oil. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut your dough in 8 even pieces. I made mine into a large circle & then sliced it into pie slices, like a pizza.
Roll & stretch each piece into a long rope, about 20" or so. We like our pretzels thick, especially if we want to use some of them for sandwiches. If you want to make thinner (more traditional) pretzels, roll it out longer then 20".
Then make a 'U' shape.
Then make a 'U' shape.
Criss-cross the top.
Criss- cross or twist it once more & then press the ends into the bottom of the 'U' to form a pretzel shape. You could also make them into pretzel sticks, if you prefer.
Place them on a sheet pan, that has been lined with parchment paper & sprayed with cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. (I used a 5.5 quart dutch oven, filled about 2/3 full of water.) Add 3/4 cup of baking soda. Boil the pretzels in the solution, 1 or 2 at a time for about 30-45 seconds, flipping them half way through. Using a spider or large slotted spoon remove & drain the pretzel dough & place on the greased & parchment lined sheet pan. I put 4 on each pan.
Slightly beat the egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the tops of the pretzels with the egg wash & then sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until pretzel brown. While the pretzels are baking, I make the Jalapeno Cheese Dip. (See Directions below.) Let rest for about 5 minutes & serve warm.
To make the Jalapeno Cheese Sauce, melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour to the melted butter & cook until golden.
Slowly stir in the milk until it's fully incorporated. Let it cook until it thickens enough to coat the spoon.
Turn off the heat & slowly stir in the shredded cheese. Once the cheese is all incorporated, add in the chopped Jalapeno. I actually used deli sliced American Cheese. I cut it into little pieces, instead of shredding it, only because it was already sliced for sandwiches. While I would prefer to have used fresh Jalapeno, I used jarred & sliced (see the garnish). Because that's what I had on hand. I chopped up before I put them in the sauce. You can add as much or as little as you'd like, I didn't measure it at all. If you don't like Jalapeno, the plain cheese sauce would be excellent too!