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Homemade Soft Pretzels: Don't Spend $3 at the Mall. Make 'Em Fresh!

In the last two weeks, the hubby and I have been to the mall 5 times and we’ve consumed no less than 6 mall pretzels.  Can you blame us?  The little treats are soft and warm, so fulfilling to one’s belly on a cold winter night.  Over our last pretzel date-night, I watched my husband consume his $3 treat, and wondered what in the world we were doing buying mall pretzels when we could make a whole batch of them at home for less than 3 bucks.  Really!  Homemade pretzels are fun to make, too!  They are made from a foolproof yeast dough that doesn’t need even a minute to rise.  All you have to do is follow this simple, step-by-step photo tutorial and you’ll have a big ol’ batch of warm, Christmas pretiola coming out of the oven in no time at all.  It’s like a warm hug for your mouth…and your wallet!

Perfect Soft Pretzels
1 ½ c. very warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast
¼ c. sugar
3-4 cups flour
4 T. baking soda
10 cups water
1 egg white
¼ c. coarse kosher salt

STEP 1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees

STEP 2. In a large bowl, whisk together water and yeast. Stir in the sugar and set aside 1-2 minutes until the mixture is foamy. Stir in 3 cups of the flour.

STEP 3.  Begin kneading the dough, adding additional flour until it is soft, but not at all sticky.

STEP 4. On a lightly floured surface, roll a palm-sized ball of dough into a long rope, approximately 12 inches long.

STEP 5. Roll into a “U”

STEP 6. Cross  top of the “U”

STEP 7. Twist the dough around itself.

STEP 8.  Pull the top, twisted part down and pinch it into place near the bottom half of the pretzel.

STEP 9. Remove any extra pieces of dough from the bottom half of the pretzel.

STEP 10. Gently tug the pretzel out, keeping the dough from getting too fat at any point.  Set aside on a lightly floured surface and allow to rise slightly while you finish twisting the other pretzels.

STEP 11. Bring water and baking soda to a rolling boil in a large saucepan. Gently place pretzels in soda bath for 10 seconds on each side.

STEP 12. Remove, brush with egg white and sprinkle with coarse kosher salt.

STEP 13. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake pretzels in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Eat warm & enjoy!

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