One of the things I miss about home is the wonderful street corner pretzels, if you enjoy pretzels as much as I do or if you just want to try them, here is a fun and easy recipe so you can have them right in your neck of the woods.
New York Pretzel ( serves 8 large pretzels)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
- 3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp table salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp pretzel salt*
- Parchment paper
Brown mustard - optional
Stir together sugar, yeast, and water - lukewarm (105 to 110°F) in a glass measuring cup, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
Whisk together 3 1/2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon table salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Dust work surface with 1 tablespoon flour, then turn out dough and knead, gradually dusting with just enough additional flour to make a smooth sticky dough, about 8 minutes. (Dough needs to be somewhat sticky to facilitate rolling and forming into pretzels).
Return dough to bowl and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. Using your palms, roll 1 piece back and forth on a clean dry work surface into a rope about 24 inches long. If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust them with flour. Twist dough into a pretzel shape. (Dough will retract as you form the pretzel.)
Transfer pretzel with your hands to an oiled baking sheet and form 7 more pretzels in same manner with remaining dough, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart.
Let pretzels stand, uncovered, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a wide 6-quart pot of water to a boil.
Using both hands, carefully add 3 pretzels, 1 at a time, to boiling water and cook, turning over once with tongs, until pretzels are puffed and shape is set, about 3 minutes. Transfer parboiled pretzels to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining 5 pretzels in 2 batches.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper and oil paper, then arrange pretzels on sheet. Brush pretzels lightly with some of egg and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Bake until golden brown and lightly crusted, about 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes, then serve warm.
*Available at King Arthur Flour (800-827-6836). If not available you can substitute with kosher salt.
Chef's notes: ~ Dough can be mixed and kneaded in a standing electric mixer fitted with dough hook.
~ Pretzels are best the day they are made. (When they are kept overnight, salt may dissolve and may get harder than desired)
Grab your favorite refreshments and enjoy the amazing taste of a warm salty New York Pretzel!!
Above all, make sure you have fun with it,
you can make it in any shape you'd like. Remember,
they don't necessarily need to look pretty, they HAVE TO BE TASTY!!