Homemade Soft Pretzels
1 1/2 cups water (355 ml.) Around 100 degrees F
2 teaspoons yeast (5 grams)
1 tsp regular table salt (5 grams)
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (621 grams.) More if necessary.
I plop everything into my mixer with the dough hook and let it churn away.
It typically looks very dry at first, but eventually pulls together into a nice stiff dough.
You can tweak the water or flour needed if too dry or too wet, but be patient if you think it’s too dry. It’ll likely come together.
Let it knead for five minutes or so then set it into a greased bowl to rise until doubled. About an hour.
When doubled, dump it out and divide it into eight pieces.
I then use a rolling pin to flatten each lump of dough into a thin oblong that I then roll up like a cigar and set aside to let rest for a couple of minutes.
When the last piece is rolled up, the first one is ready to be worked. I roll it out with my hands into a rope about 30″ long and then twist it into a pretzel shape and place it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Four pretzels go on each baking sheet then they go into the freezer until frozen solid.
They can stay in the freezer indefinitely.
Dip Ingredients and Directions
The lye dip is composed of 40 ounces of water and 2 ounces of lye.
You’ll want to wear gloves and possibly a pair of goggles for this part of the process. If you’re reasonably careful, you’ll be fine.
If you get any lye on bare skin wash it off under running water for several minutes.
You’ll want to add the water to a stainless steel or glass bowl first, then sprinkle on the lye and try not to breathe in the fumes.
Some of the lye will clump at the bottom of the bowl and the mixture will appear quite white and milky.
Using a stainless steel or plastic spoon carefully and gently stir the mixture until it all dissolves and turns clear, like freshwater. It takes a couple of minutes of stirring so be patient.
Then dip the frozen pretzels, one at a time for 20-30 seconds and let the excess solution drip back into the bowl. Place the now dipped pretzels on the parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with pretzel salt.
Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, then enjoy.