It's that time of year that the kids start asking for more snacks. Oh wait. That's all year long! Kids always seem to be hungry. Daggum the growth spurts and puberty! Here's a really delightfully delicious snack to make with the kids. It is a simple recipe for making soft pretzels with great chewiness and texture. These pretzels have more of an authentic "Deli-Style" taste. How? Pretzels are dipped in an alkaline solution to get that browned crust and unique flavor. It can be diluted lye or baking soda. In our kitchen, we prefer the use of baking soda. It's easier to find.
Deli-Style Soft Pretzels
2 cup Milk
1 Tbsp. Red Star Yeast
1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
5 Cups Texas Pure Milling Bread Flour (plus a little more for kneading)
2 tsp salt, fine
1/3 cup baking soda
2-3 Tbsp. Course Pretzel Salt
Directions: Combine the milk, yeast, sugar, Olive oil, Texas Pure Milling Bread Flour and salt. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic on a lightly floured surface, 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 12 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.
Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution or dip a pastry brush in the baking soda solution and paint each pretzel. Allow to dry and “paint” again. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt.
Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
Drizzle with garlic infused olive oil after baking and serve warm with hot mustard if desired.