So the other day Carri (who I work with) and I were talking about the great pretzels you can get at the mall... we were day dreaming over the salty goodness of the classic pretzel and then moving on to the oh so good cinnamon and sugar pretzel... After our day dream and returning to our oh so boring lunches I returned to my desk to find an email marked "Can you make these?" enclosed in the email was a recipe for "Mall Pretzels" I thought to myself, of course I CAN make them... but will the recipe hold up to our expectations??? That was the question... So I got to baking.
Here it goes...
recipe from CD Kitchen
-1 1/2 cups water
-1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast
-2 tablespoons brown sugar
-1 1/8 teaspoons salt
-1 cup bread flour
-3 cups all purpose flour
-2 cups warm water
-2 tablespoons baking soda
-4 tablespoons butter
- course salt to taste
First, sprinkle the yeast on 1 1/2 cups of luke warm water and stir till it is disolved. Then add the brown sugar and the salt to the luke warm water and stir till it is disolved.
Add the water mixture to your mixing bowl and then slowly add flour and knead the dough until it is elastic. (I also added 3 tablespoons of melted butter to my dough to give it a buttery texture)
Place in an oiled bowl and top with a damn cloth and allow the douh to rise for at least a half hour. The longer it has to rise the more flavor it will have... I gave mine about 2 1/2 hours.
After the dough has risen pinch the dough off into sections to be rolled into a long rope and formed into pretzel. (This is the area where I had the most trouble... I could not get the dough to roll out all long and it was very hard it wanted to just spring back up...)
Once you have formed the pretzels then take the 2 cups of warm water and disolve in the 2 tablespoons of baking soda... stir until disolved. This is your soda water bath. Prepare a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. (I recomend you spray it down with Pam or the cooking spray of your choice as I did not the first time and they all cooked to the paper.) Once you have formed the pretzel dip it entirely in the soda bath then place on the greased parchment paper. Bake at 450 degrees F for about 9 minutes.
Once you have removed them from the oven dip them in the melted butter so they are coated entirely and then top with your choice of topping. I did some butter with salt and the others I did in a cinnamon and sugar mixture. When doing the cinnamon and sugar i mixed the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and once the pretzel was dipped in th butter i placed it in the bowl and spooned the mixture onto it until t was covered.
Since I had so much trouble forming the pretzel shape I simply made what I called "pretzel bites" with some of the dough. They almost looked like donut holes. They turned out great and were perfectly bite size!
As for the question of time... "did it meet our expectations?" Hot out of the oven they were practically identical to all of my memories of "The Mall Pretzel" The next day, however, they tasted like.... well like a mall pretzel that you took home, put in a tupperware container, and heated up the next day :O) All and all I will defenitly make these again... especailly the pretzel bites. If anyone has any ideas or opnions for next time let me know!