Well, after a week off, I put my bread machine back to work. Yesterday, I made soft pretzel dough and baked some pretty amazing pretzels!! Puffy, light and just enough salt, these pretzels were very good as is, with a little honey mustard and even dipped in spaghetti sauce (believe me - it works!). I think they'd also be great as sandwich bread, especially if eaten on the day they were made when they are light and fluffy.
Bread Machine Soft Pretzels
*Follow your bread machine's instructions... mine calls for putting wet ingredients, sugar/salt then flour/yeast.
1 1/4 c water (80 degrees F)
1 egg yolk (don't throw out the egg white as you'll use it as a glaze later)
1 T oil (I used canola)
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
3 1/2 c bread flour
1 T active dry yeast OR 2 tsp bread machine yeast
1 egg white
1 T water
1 T kosher salt
1 T sesame seeds (optional)
1. Place ingredients into bread pan in the order requested by your bread machine's instruction manual. Choose the "dough" setting.
2. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into 16 even pieces. Flour your hands and form each piece into a 16 inch rope. Cross the ends of the rope to make a loop; twist the crossed ends once and fold across the loop.
3. Place pretzels on a greased baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Whisk egg white and water together and brush each pretzel with glaze and sprinkle with topping(s). Let rise until double in size, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
They came out really light and fluffy: I had a difficult time getting the pretzels to form a 16 inch rope - they were more like 12 inches which is why my pretzels came out so puffy but I didn't mind that. You could also try other toppings a la Auntie Anne's (cinnamon/sugar with butter, hot pepper flakes and chopped pepperoni, Parmesan cheese....).
I wrapped mine up with wax paper which was a mistake - this morning the salt had melted away. Will have to use tupperware or even parchment next time.
What topping would you put on your soft pretzel? I think I might make a ham and cheese sandwich on mine. Yum!
Chow for now! :)