Monday, December 28, 2009

Get Your Chewy Mall Pretzel Fix at Home

If you think these are the worst looking pretzels you've ever seen, you're right. How do those high schoolers at the pretzel place in the mall get theirs looking so good? I think I need lessons.

Mangled appearance notwithstanding, these pretzels are great. I got the recipe from Food Network Magazine.  They're supposed to be a clone of Auntie Anne's pretzels.  I'd say they're pretty close.  And while this recipe calls for brown sugar, I've seen some that call for powdered sugar.  Might be worth a try.  

Chewy Mall Pretzels
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
Warm the milk in a saucepan until it's about 110 degrees; pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon. Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften; stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. (If the dough seems tight, cover and let rest until it relaxes.) Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.  Or hire one of those Auntie Anne's kids to come into your home and work their pretzel magic.

Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish. Dip the hot pretzels in the butter, turning to coat; place on a wire rack to let excess butter drip off.


Anonymous said...

Oh lordy.... I love mall pretzels while shopping till I drop.

Ellen said...

YUM! Thanks for sharing the recipe! Might try these this week while the girls are both home... :p

Tony said...

After reading this, I literally got up and went straight to the kitchen. I was amazed at how easy it was, and they are PERFECT.

As a variation, instead of salting three of them, I put some grated parmesan cheese on a plate, and after the baking soda bath I pressed one side of the pretzel into the cheese. They came out great.

I like mine extra salty, so next time I may put salt on a plate and press it in like I did for the cheese.

Thanks for sharing this!

BridgeMom said...

Mike and I purchased one froma the mall in a desperate attempt to tide jackson over until we got home for lunch. Ridiculously over priced! Might just have to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing.

Abbie said...

Mmm, Parmesan cheese sounds good on these. Good idea, Tony.