Every time I go to the mall, I can't say no to those delicious Mall Pretzels. The smell hits me as soon as I hit the food court. I love the crispy outside and soft inside. I enjoy dunking them in mustard or melted cheese. Last night I was brain storming ideas for the Monday recipe and I thought pretzels! I told my husband right away that I was going to make mall pretzels. He looked at me and laughed so hard and said, "your going to bake homemade pretzels? Please don't burn down our apartment." Well this just made me 1000 times more excited to make pretzels, just so I could prove my husband wrong.
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast, 2tbs. brown sugar and 1 1/8 tsp. salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water.
Stir in 3 cups all-purpose flour and 1 cup bread flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. The video above is of me kneading dough. I thought I knew how to knead dough, but after I googled a how to video on kneading dough. I can say that I was totally wrong. Some tips I would share are first spray your surface with pam cooking spray and put flour on your hands and dough. If your surface and dough start sticking lay down more pam or flour. This will help the dough not to stick to you or your rolling surface.
Place dough in a pam cooking spray greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel, and let rise for one hour.
After the dough as sat and allowed to rise for an hour, cut into twelve pieces.
Roll each piece of dough into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner.
Twist the dough into a pretzel shape, and dip into the baking soda solution. The baking soda solution is 2 cups warm water and baking soda combined in an 8 inch square pan. I found a helpful video on how to twist your dough into the perfect pretzel shape. The video also gives some great suggestions on other uses for your pretzel dough. Honestly, rolling the doll out into the three foot long rope is the toughest part. I found working from right to left was the best for me.
After dipping the dough into the baking soda solution, place on a towel to soak up the bottom side of the dough. Then place the pretzel on a greased cookie sheet, reshape pretzel if needed. Let the pretzels sit on the cookie sheet for twenty minutes before putting in the oven. Sprinkle dough with salt if desired, before baking.
Bake at 450 degrees F for five minutes, turn 180 degrees and cook another five minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with garlic salt or cinnamon sugar.
The best part of this recipe is it is kid friendly. Kids will love playing with the dough and seeing what creations they can make. One warning I have is not to leave your balls of dough in reach of a two year old, they will eat it. Also it takes time to roll out all the dough so you may want to bag half of the dough and put it in the refrigerator.
The finished product is hot and delicious! Kid tested and mother approved!