It is supposed to snow in Charleston tomorrow. People are initiating emergency guidelines. We are preparing for total shut down for the forecasted one inch of snow. I haven’t heard anything yet about potential school closings, but I am getting prepared to have a rambunctious 10 year old home from school either tomorrow or Wednesday. And what better way to spend the day than making soft pretzels! My only concern about this is it being so cold in the house that the dough won’t rise properly, but I will keep you posted on that when we make them. This is a picture from a long weekend up in the mountains last February- I seriously doubt that we will get anywhere near that much snow- but the kiddos sure did have fun!
1 cup milk
1 package active dry yeast
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided (2 tablespoons for the dough; 3 tablespoons for brushing on finished pretzels)
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup baking soda
Coarse salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each into a pretzel shape (form a U-shape, then holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press firmly onto the bottom of the pretzel).
Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on a prepared baking sheet (re-shaping if necessary) and sprinkle lightly with course salt. Bake until golden, 10 – 12 minutes. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter and brush on baked pretzels. The pretzels are best enjoyed fresh on the same day.
*If you prefer a cinnamon sugar topping, omit the coarse salt. Brush with butter after baking and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar plus about 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon)