Who doesn't like a nice soft pretzel as a late night snack? I do! When I visit the States I always buy the frozen ones at the store and, at night while obsessively watching HGTV, I throw some in the microwave for a little late night snack.
As I have already stated many times, you just can't find those easy to make snacks here. But, I did come across a recipe for soft pretzels a while back that looked not overly complicated. Most recipes that I found required all these steps and there was boiling water involved.
I was just talking with my friend, Heather, yesterday about the fact that I have to make basically everything from scratch. And, it gets old. Plus, there are some things that I want but making them requires not only making the item from scratch, but even some of the ingredients from scratch. That just makes it too much work.
But, this particular pretzel recipe is simple and fast. Well, as fast as a yeast dough recipe gets. I don't time myself, but I would say in an hour or less you could be enjoying a soft pretzel. AND, you can make a bunch and freeze the rest. Then all you need to do is heat them in the oven or if they are small enough, through them in the toaster.
I got the recipe a few years back out of an email that had all these copycat recipes. This one is supposedly a Auntie Ann's Pretzel. I don't think I have ever had one so I can't compare. But, the fact that I can't find any soft pretzels were I live, this one is awesome!
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/8 tsp. active yeast
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup bread flour (I use all purpose in place of this)
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. baking soda
To taste: coarse salt and melted butter
Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. Let rise at least 1/2 hour.
while dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with the 2 cups warm water and 2 Tbsp. baking soda. Be certain to stir often.
After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope (about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape. Dip pretzel into soda solution and place on greased baking sheet. Allow pretzel to rise again. Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until golden. Brush with melted butter and coarse salt and enjoy. (It also suggests sprinkling cinnamon sugar on them.)