What is there not to love about warm, yeast breads. Whether it is a white or wheat, loaf or rolls, everyone loves homemade yeast breads. I found a recipe years ago on the internet that I made today. It is a copycat recipe for Aunt Annie's Pretzels like you buy at the mall. A warm homemade pretzel tastes nothing like the bagged store bought snack food. Surprisingly, it took very little time and effort to make them. My entire family loved them. I just topped mine with melted butter and salt, but next time I will make some with cinnamon sugar or the glaze topping. The other thing that I need to change next time is to make the rope of dough smaller and thinner. The ones that I made turned out pretty chunky. All the kids thought it looked like fun and were making them, too. Our pretzels aren't the prettiest, but they tasted really good.
Here is the recipe:
Aunt Annie's Soft Pretzels
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups regular flour
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
4 tablespoons butter (melted)
Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. Let rise at least 1/2 hour. While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 Tbsp baking soda. Be certain to stir often. After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope* (about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape. Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet. Allow pretzels to rise again. Bake in 450 oven for about 10 minutes or until golden. Brush with melted butter and enjoy!
Toppings: after you brush with butter try sprinkling with coarse salt. or for Auntie Anne's famous Cinnamon Sugar, try melting a stick of butter in a shallow bowl (big enough to fit the entire pretzel) and in another shallow bowl make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Dip the pretzel into the butter, coating both sides generously. Then dip again into the cinnamon mixture.
* The longer and thinner you can make the dough rope, the more like Auntie Anne's they will be.