Homemade pretzels are one of the treats you can conveniently get at the store. Like ice cream, bread, tortillas, pastries, etc. So easy to buy and have it vs. taking the time to make it. It's that instant gratification we too often desire in today's world.
This post has been sponsored by Ancestry. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Homemade versions require a bit more work but once you taste them, you can never go back! Your taste buds get spoiled and any extra work will be forgotten as soon as you take that first bite! Another incentive is the homemade versions don't have any extra preservatives or ingredients that you have no clue about!
I felt inspired to make these pretzels to remember a recent trip my husband and I made to Germany where we had amazing pretzels! Hello, Germany = Pretzels right? I think we had like 4 of them in 3 days! LOL! Going to Germany had been on my places to visit for a long time for many reasons. First, the country is gorgeous! Second, we love to travel and third, I really wanted to visit the country my Grandfather was from! He was born in Hamburg Germany and as an adult he migrated to the United States. From there he made the leap to Mexico where he met my Grandmother and the rest is history.
Speaking about my German heritage, last year I had my DNA test done thru Ancestry DNA. I was curious to find out what other heritage I had besides Mexican, Spanish and German. When I received my results, I had the biggest surprise ever! My highest ethnicity estimate percentage came from Great Britain at 29%!!! The Great Britain came as a surprise since we only knew about my grandfather being from Germany. However, my sisters and I started doing some research and now we have a lead on where the Great Britain came from. The great thing about doing this test is that you're able to find out exactly what regions your DNA came from. My other percentages are as follow: Native American from Mexico at 23% and Europe West - which includes Germany - at 22% (plus other small ones not noted here). As you can see, I'm a total mutt! Ha!
For this post I partnered up with the wonderful people at Ancestry. They provided me with information I find fascinating about my ethnic background. I think it may help everyone find answers to questions they may have and the process is just fun!
I'm not ready to talk about the Great Britain mystery yet but I will post something about it as soon as we find out! We're definitely thinking it came from my mom's mom side... they're all blond and blue eyes! More to come so stand by. With Ancestry's help I will continue to do more research and solve the mystery!
This recipe is from one of the Chef's I love (and trust) the most. Alton Brown. If you're more of a visual person for recipes like this (Like I am) Alton's instructions on >this< video are spot on and the pretzels come out perfectly! I adapted the recipe's instructions to make sure anyone could make these pretzels.
Buen Provecho! Or I should say: Guten Appetit!
Homemade Soft Pretzels
- 1 1/2 cups warm 110 to 115 degrees F water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 22 ounces all-purpose flour approximately 4 1/2 cups
- 2 ounces unsalted butter melted
- Vegetable oil for pan
- 10 cups water
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Pretzel salt
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the warm water, sugar, salt & dry east. let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Add the flour and melted butter. Using the dough hook attachment, knead on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
- Just before the dough is finished rising, fill a large, deep pan with 10 cups of water (a large Dutch oven or deep 4- to 6-quart saute pan work well). Stir in the baking soda. Bring to a boil.
- Turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. About 4.5 ounces each. Optional: Use a kitchen scale to be more accurate.
- Roll each piece into a long rope about 25-inches in length. Grasping both ends, bring them up slightly and towards each other, forming an oval, then cross one end over the other. Press the ends together at the bottom of the oval shape, forming a pretzel. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
- Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
- Carefully drop three pretzels into the boiling water; 1 by 1, for 30 seconds.
- Using a large spatula, carefully remove them from the water and place them back on the parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt.
- Bake the pretzels for about 12 to 14 minutes, or until the are a rich golden brown, rotating the pan about halfway through the baking time.
- Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.