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Tips for Making the Perfect Golden-Brown Pretzel

April 19th, 2013 Cooking

If you love pretzels, you aren't alone! This delectable snack has been around since 610 A.D., according to Kitchen Project, when monks used scraps of dough to create pretzels, representing the folded arms of praying children. Pennsylvania was the first state to popularize the food in the mid-19th century, and it's been a favorite for many ever since. If you're interested in making your own, just follow these steps.

Ingredients:
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup and 1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping

Directions:

1. Dissolve the yeast in a small bowl with the teaspoon of sugar and warm water. After about 10 minutes, the mixture should become creamy.

2. Mix the flour, salt and 1/2 cup of sugar together in a large bowl until incorporated. Create a small hole in the middle of the mixture with your finger, then pour in the yeast paste along with the vegetable oil. 

3. Knead the dough mixture with your hands, then allow it to sit in an oiled bowl for 1 hour, covered under plastic wrap in a warm area. This will give it an opportunity to rise and become flexible.

4. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees , then combine the baking soda in a bowl with warm water.

5. After 1 hour, remove the dough from its covering and begin to slice it into strips, forming them each into pretzel shapes. Prior to placing them on a greased pan, dip them in the baking soda solution and sprinkle with salt.

6. Bake the pretzels for approximately eight minutes, or until golden brown. Wait for them to cool completely - approximately 20 minutes - before chowing down.