Sunday, February 5, 2012

Large Soft Pretzels

By Christy
Happy Superbowl Sunday! If you are a good ole' procrastinator like me, most likely you have waited until day of to start all your recipe digging, grocery shopping and cooking for right about now! Luckily for me, I decided earlier in the week what I wanted to make..... Large soft pretzels. 

When I first moved to Nashville, one of my favorite hot spots for my friends and I was the Flying Saucer down by the Gulch/Downtown. Now, if you have ever been there you will know that the humongous beer selection isn't the only thing great about this bar because they also have great bar food....specifically, their giant soft pretzels. (man, my mouth is watering just thinking about them!). They have hands down one of the best soft pretzels I have ever had and they serve them with a variety of dipping sauces: Warm cream cheese, nacho cheese, honey mustard, mustard, and I am sure there are more, but those are my go to's.

Finally, about 4 years ago, I decided it was my goal to recreate the same Flying Saucer deliciousness at home and that is how this recipe came about. It's one of my proudest additions to my recipe collection and since then I have made it for book clubs, family gatherings, and SPORTING EVENTS with always hands down success!

Best part is they are really easy to make, and you can make so many variations! My favorite is just salted but I have also made them with cinnamon and sugar. One variation I have on my list to try is putting jalapenos and cheddar cheese on top (Melted cheese and the jalapeno juices infuse into the pretzel. YUM) and maybe use salsa mixed with cream cheese as the sauce?! In my mind it sounds amazing.... If someone tries that variation, let me know the results! :)

Happy baking and may the best team win today!

For Salted Pretzels
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup White sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
Kosher salt for topping

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast with the 1 tsp of sugar in warm water. Let this stand about ten minutes (it will look like a kinda creamy, bubbly, fluffy mixture).

In a large bowl mix the flour, 1/2 sugar and salt. Once combined add the oil and yeast mixture, mixing until it forms into a dough. (You can add more water if you feel the mixture is too dry. Add 1 tablespoon at a time. A little goes a long way in this instance). Kneed the dough for 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth. Lightly oil a large boil. Add the ball of dough to the bowl, coating the dough with a coat of oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for an hour (it can grow almost double in size sometimes).

Preheat the oven to 450. In a large bowl, dissolve the baking soda in hot water. On a floured surface, take the dough and cut into 12 pieces (or less or more depending on how many or how large you want your pretzels to be). Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once you have all your pretzels shaped, dip each one in the baking soda solution and placed on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt (or whatever topping you choose). Bake for about 8 minutes or until they are golden brown.

My Fave Dipping Sauce
1 Package Cream Cheese
1/2-1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium sized bowl (or a micorwave safe decorative bowl you want to serve the sauce in) microwave the creamcheese for 30 seconds, then stir. Then micorwave for another 15-30 seconds. Continue this process until the creamcheese is creamy and warm. Stir in the shredded cheese and serve. A-mazing!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. Do you have a recipe for the Flying Saucer mustard to go with these great pretzels?

Thank you!