Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Guest Post - Mini Soft Pretzels from Ruby

I would like to introduce my very first guest blogger, Ruby, hurray! Ruby is a long-time friend, neighbor and my favorite food partner! She has shared many wonderful recipes with me and now its your turn. Enjoy!

I am so excited to be doing a guest post on Food'N'Such! Like Molls I love to cook and try new recipes, but yeast is one ingredient I am always kind of scared to use. What if it doesn’t rise the way it's supposed to? What if I don't knead it long enough or too long? I have been wanting to make my own soft pretzels for awhile since they are my favorite junk food to buy when I am at a sporting event. I finally decided to try making them for the game this past Friday. The bf and I were having people over our apartment to watch the game so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity. I used a Bobby Flay recipe on the Food Network's website.

I made some changes to the recipe so the recipe listed below is the one I followed. I decided not to make the cheese sauce listed with the recipe since I didn’t feel like roasting my own peppers, but I plan to make it next time. I just bought a bar of chili con queso (yum) and made the mustard listed below, which was awesome and the bf and I are using it on turkey sandwiches this week. The recipe online is for using a stand mixer, which I do not own, so I kneaded the dough by hand. Also I made 16 mini soft pretzels instead of 8 large ones.
They turned out fabulous! I just need to practice my pretzel shaping skills.


Mustard Sauce:
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
Honey, to taste

Soft Pretzels:
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons light brown muscovado sugar (I used regular light brown sugar)
1 package active dry yeast
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
Canola oil
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
2 whole eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Coarse sea salt

For the Mustard Sauce:
Whisk together the mustards and honey, to taste, until combined. Let sit at least 30 minutes before serving.

For the Soft Pretzels:
Line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper and spray liberally with non-stick spray.
Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in a bowl and mix until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes. Combine salt and flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture and mix with wooden spoon until dough is combined. Knead on a floured surface for 7-8 minutes, until dough is smooth. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. After dough is smooth, knead into a ball with your hands.

Oil a bowl with canola oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda. (Add the baking soda a little at a time since it really foams up!)

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 12 inches and shape: take the right side and cross over to the left. Cross right to left again and flip up. Boil the pretzels in the water solution, 4 at a time for 30 seconds, splashing the tops with the warmed water using a spoon. Remove with a large flat slotted spatula or a spider. Use a paper towel to dab off any excess water. Place 8 pretzels on each baking sheet, brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown. If baking both sheets at once, rotate sheets halfway through baking so pretzels brown evenly (I did not do this and the batch on the top rack was much darker!)

Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating. Dip into desired sauces. These are best eaten the day they're made, the leftovers got a little soggy the next day.

These look awesome, I can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks again for posting Ruby!!!


Blaze said...

Ruby, it is wonderful to have you as a guest blogger on Food N Such. I know that you have some excellent treasures of recipes and I look forward to hearing more from you! I think a great addition to your soft pretzels would be a type of cinnamon butter or cinnamon cream cheese icing/dip? Any ideas for whipping up some of that homemade?

TREE said...

Great idea to have a guest blogger, maybe one day Monster will get the privilege. To piggyback on Blaze, what about a cinnamon and sugar coating? Those are my favorite at the mall, but I would like for it to be a little bit healthier. Any suggestions?

Sarah said...

Blaze - Thanks for the comment! I found this recipe online and it looks pretty good to me! You could probably cut it in half or even smaller. Just like Encore and Ovations!
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
Sift together the confectioners' sugar and cinnamon. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the cream cheese. Beat on medium until smooth. Add the milk and sugar mixture, beat on low until incorporated and then increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until smooth. Yield: about 2 cups

Tree - I would think if you just brushed the top with the egg mixture then sprinkled some a little sugar or splenda on top along with some cinnamon that would work fine. However there is almost a whole stick of butter in the dough...I'll post a healthier recipe next time.

TREE said...

Cinnamon cream cheese frosting sounds delish, can't wait to try it with the homemade soft pretzels!!!

Hannah Harbert said...

What about dipping the pretzels in melted white chocolate and then pouring smashed candy canes all over them.

Okay, just kidding.

Molls said...

Haha!! Hans I love your suggestion!!