Monday, February 23, 2009

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pretzels

I recently had an inclination to try and make pretzels for the first time. I scanned through a few recipes online and all of them called for around 5 cups of flour, which seemed like a lot to me. I thought it would end up making way too many pretzels than I wanted. I finally settled for this recipe on, and boy was it a mistake. I've never seen a recipe have such ambiguous language in it!

All of the mixings ready to be beaten until "smooth and glossy"

The shape that I formed looked like a calzone.


All formed into their pretzels shapes and ready to be put in the oven.

My personal favorite was to wait until the dough was "satiny." What is that even supposed to mean? Then it was supposed to be "soft" butter...does that mean butter softened or a spreadable butter? Another favorite was that the batter was supposed to be beaten until it was smooth and glossy. Dough doesn't get glossy! So I basically just used the recipe as guidelines and took over for myself...not like I had any option.

The end result tasted just like a pretzel! They weren't bland necessarily, but I might add more brown sugar and cinnamon in my b/c I have a huge sweet tooth...more like a sweet mouth. But they taste great, not an overload of sugar that will make your teeth rot. They also make the house smell like those little pretzel places at the mall that when you pass, you feel like if you don't have a pretzel at the very moment--you'll die. :) Definitely try and make these though! Pretzels taste so much better when they're hot and soft compared to those hard store bought ones. They would taste wonderful with a skinny Cinnamon Dulce' Latte from Starbucks.

Pretzel Dough
1 pkg. active dry yeast (or 2 & 1/2 tsp.)
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3 cups flour (I used whole wheat flour)

2 1/2 tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions (with no help from thank you)
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast with warm water; add dry milk and stir. Let stand 5 min. until  yeast foams or bubbles. Beat in 1/3 cup butter, salt, egg, 2 cups flour until well blended. Beat in 1 more cup of flour. Let dough stand for 15 min.

Sprinkle some flour on top of dough and turn onto a floured board. Knead for about 1 min., or until "satiny." Spray a large bowl well with nonstick cooking spray. Turn dough into this bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours. 

Turn onto lightly floured board. Roll to 12 x 14 inches. Spread half the dough with 1/4 of melted butter and sprinkle with 3/4 of sugar and cinnamon mixture. Fold unfilled dough over filling; press edges together (mine looked like a calzone). Cut into 12 strips. Separate strips and twist if the dough separates. Form into pretzel shape (see my picture if it's almost like a heart with the center touching the bottom). Lay pretzels seam side down on cooking sheets sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Use a baking brush to spread the remaining melted butter across the pretzels and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon and sugar on top. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 min. or until slightly brown and firm to the touch.