Baking: Soft chewy Mall Pretzels!
Here's a picture by picture instruction on how to. I like mine completely covered in cinnamon sugar but I also made Pretzel dogs and they were delicious! My boyfriend ate 3 out of the 4 I made, he really liked them, lol. Best if eaten the day of but you can always store leftovers in the freezer and nuke them for 45secs whenever you want another one. A little stale after storing them? Just microwave them for a couple secs :D
I got the recipe from Mall Pretzels from Allrecipes.com
Here's the following with my notes and pictures. It's pretty easy and simple, you can even just make breadsticks with this and sprinkle some garlic salt and parmesan over them before baking. It's good, not really delicious delicious but hey it satisfies my pretzel craving :)
SOFT CHEWY PRETZELS "Mall Pretzels"
* 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 1/8 teaspoons salt
* 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup bread flour
* 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 2 tablespoons baking soda
* 2 tablespoons butter, melted
* 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water. (I let this proof w/ 1/2 cup flour for 10minutes but I don't think you need to do that for this recipe). Stir in flour (I reserved 1/2 cup for kneading and added it to the dough a few tablespoons at a time.), and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
It shouldn't stick to your hands and should pull away from the bowl. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise for one hour.
2. Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8 inch square pan. I think this solution allows for a chewy crust.
3. After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces. Yay for dough scrapers! if you don't have one, get one! Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner.
The trick is to form it and then roll it with both hands going out, pressure on the heel of your hand and making an up and down motion. It's like massaging a snake, yeah yeah you know what i mean. :P :P Here's a youtube vid of some guy doing it the quick professional way, you don't need to do it like that (crazy skills) but the massaging part is the same.
Twist into a pretzel shape, and lightly dip into the baking soda solution. If they turn goopy on you then your dough is still sorta wet when you rolled them, you can try holding them over the solution and sprinkle it on and pat it around. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt or cinnamon sugar. Also, don't bake it on the lowest rack, put your rack on the middle shelf,lower rack would cause the bottoms to burn. The parchment paper will burn on you but pretzels lift off easy. I tried aluminum foil ungreased and it stuck to the pretzels. You can try greased aluminum foil.
Pretzel Dogs: The hot dog doesn't need to be 'cooked' for this, just take it out of the fridge. Roll out the dough to like 2 1/2ft long, lightly dip in baking soda/water solution and the easiest way is to lay the dough down, with one end wind it around the tip of the hot dog and roll the dog till the dough is winded all around. LOL :), my bf was like why aren't there any gaps in the dough like the ones in the mall?(bc i sorta overlapped it), so i made sure to seperate the dough a bit to make little gaps. lol :D
Cinnamon Sugar dip: BF says, instead of covering your pretzel with butter before dipping make like a sugar syrup like they do at Auntie Ann's. I'm thinking equal parts sugar and water and heated up in the microwave, genorously brush this on your pretzels and dip to your hearts delight in a cinnamon sugar!