Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Paula Dean’s Yummy Pretzels


  • 1 cup warm water (about 98 degrees F)
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Kosher salt
In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water and yeast. When the yeast dissolves, add half of the flour, the butter, salt, and sugar and mix for about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining flour. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is no longer sticky. Let the dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until it doubles in size, about 45 to 50 minutes. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece of dough into 18-inch long ropes. On a greased cookie sheet, shape each rope into a pretzel shape. Let rise again until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
In a large non-aluminum Dutch oven over high heat, bring 4 cups of water and baking soda to a boil. Using a large spoon, gently lower pretzels into water a few at a time and boil for about 1 minute, or until they float. Return the pretzels to the cookie sheet and brush with melted butter then sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake until browned, about 12 minutes. 

Paula's recipe

Kate original gave me this recipe, but I tweaked it a little to reflect Paula Dean's original recipe.  I've only baked pretzels one other time and this one takes the prize!  We loved them!  I rolled the dough out to about 12-inch long ropes and you can see the pretzels turned out puffy--for a more spread out pretzel, roll to 18-inch long ropes.  I baked them exactly 12 minutes, may I suggest checking them at 9 or 10 minutes.  These are so good!

I made a little cheese sauce by partially melting neufchatel cheese, cheddar cheese, and a little milk for 15 second bursts in the microwave, stirring in between.  Yummy.  I'll definitely be making these again.

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