My sisters know exactly where this is coming from.
It’s a bit of an obsession I have. An obsession I indulge in…. exactly never.
Not because I don’t want to, or I have killer willpower, but because I have no choice.
We used to have a soft pretzel shop in the mall we usually shop in, and every time I was there I’d buy a salted pretzel with warm caramel sauce. The combination is one of the most incredible I’ve ever put in my mouth. Please tell me you’ve had a pretzel with caramel sauce.
But then the shop shut down, which was okay for a while, because there is a Wetzel’s Pretzels in the movie theatre just across the street from said mall.
Except 2 years and 2 months ago, we had a beautiful baby girl. And you can guess how many movies I’ve been to in the last 2 years.
Your guess is as good as mine, as I can’t even remember. One?
Would you believe I didn’t even order my pretzel.
So, when we were traveling to Florida on holidays this summer, we had a layover in the Chicago airport. There was a shop selling pretzels and caramel sauce.
So I thought to myself, since we’d just had lunch, “I’ll swing by and pick one up just before we board.”
Except that they boarded the airport one whole hour before take-off, because it was overbooked and I guess they wanted to figure out how many people they could squeeze on.
“That’s fine,” I told myself, “I’ll get one on our flight back when we stop at Chicago again.”
The day before we left to come back my sisters revealed to me that our layover was actually in Toronto on the way back, and not Chicago. There were not soft pretzels in Toronto. They were a little worried about how I was going to take the news.
So I knew when I got home that I had to make soft pretzels. I’ve had recipes pinned to my Breads and Muffins board for a long time now, but I was always intimidated.
There was no stopping me this time.
And you know what? They’re not actually hard! In fact, they’re totally easy, and they’re incredible, and they taste just like the soft pretzels from the mall. And my favourite part: the dough is made in the bread machine!
I’m sure you could easily make the dough in a stand mixer, as it’s only 4 simple ingredients, but the bread machine takes so much of the work and guessing out. The dough comes out soft and a little sticky, but you want it that way. If you add too much flour, the pretzels will be difficult to roll.
I divided the dough in half (the recipe was said to make 8 pretzels), and made 4 medium pretzels and 26 pretzel bites. They both baked in the same time and are both amazingly delicious.
And please serve them salted with caramel sauce. You won’t regret it.
Buttery, salty, chewy pretzels just like at the mall! These are incredible fresh from the oven.
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast (original recipe uses active dry, so a swap would be fine)
- 2 liters of water for boiling
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 2-3 tbsp melted butter
- salt for sprinkling
- Add water, flour, sugar and yeast to bread machine in order listed. Turn on the dough cycle. Check dough after 5 minutes to see if an additional tbsp of water or flour is needed for dough to come together.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- When dough cycle is finished, remove from bread machine. Divide into 8 pieces to make medium-sized pretzels, or tear off and roll small pieces into balls for pretzel bites.
- In a large pot, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Boil pretzels and pretzel bites for 15-30 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon onto paper towel.
- Place onto greased baking sheets and bake for 8-12 minutes until golden brown.
- Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm with caramel or other sauce, or enjoy plain!
If you are making the dough in your stand mixer, remember to leave about an hour for rise time before rolling the dough into shape. Cover and let rise in a warm place, just like you would with regular bread or bun dough.
Recipe slightly adapted from Dine and Dish. Original recipe from All Recipes.