Posted by: DancingQueen | December 21, 2009

The Pretzel Post: Mini Soft Pretzels

My New York born father was circling the kitchen as the aroma of the dough wafted from the oven.  Through a mouth full of dough, he sang only praises and repeatedly attested to their authenticity.  I love how soft they and the color they turn.  Even as I lick the salt from my fingers, I find myself wondering – next time, should I coat in cinnamon-sugar?

Pretzels Finished_minisoftpretzels

Pretzels Finished! Mini Soft Pretzels

The recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Soft Pretzels. I opted to make these as miniatures (count 32) and by hand.

2 cups warm water + 1 tablespoon water + Extra water (3 cups approx)
1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
1 + 4 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (have more on hand)
1 tablespoon fine salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup baking soda

1 large egg, beaten
Coarse kosher salt or pretzel salt or bacon salt (for the adventurous)

1.  Oil a medium to large sized bowl with 2 tablespoons of oil

2.  Measure out 2 cups of warm-hot (but not too hot) water and 1 tablespoon of sugar into a large bowl stir until the sugar dissolves.  Pour in your yeast and leave them alone for 10 minutes.  Seriously, wouldn’t you like to be alone during a sugar binge?

3.  After the yeast eats and is happy the mixture will be foamy.  Sift 1 cup of flour into the mix and stir for a minute, add 1 tablespoon of salt and sift in 4 more cups of flour.  Knead with hands until mixed.  If yours is still a bit sticky, like mine, add another 1/2 cup flour and knead some more.  Knead for a few more minutes until the ball of dough is smooth and then drop it into the oiled bowl.  Turn to coat both sides.

4.  Drape towel over the dough in the bowl and let it sit for an hour.  The dough will approximately double in size if left alone.  (FYI, Cold will slow down yeast so DO NOT store in the refrigerator or under a vent.  On the flip-side, don’t set it too close to anything hot)

5.  Set oven to 450°F and cover two baking sheets parchment paper (I didn’t grease them) and check on your dough.

6.  If there are bubbles, knead to remove.  I cut my dough quickly with a butter knife on the parchment.  First, cut the ball in half (each half is 16 mini pretzels), then each half into halfs (each of these pieces will make 8 pretzels), and then each of those in half (these will make 4), then into fourths.  You should end up with 32 pieces of dough, maybe 2-2.5″ in diameter each.  Cover pieces with a towel as you slice.

Pretzels: Ready To Go Into The Oven

Pretzels: Ready To Go Into The Oven

7.  I tried two ways of making the dough-balls into dough-snakes: Way One (which did not make as good pretzels) was to pinch out the strands to 12-15″ strips.  Way Two (made nice smooth pretzels) was to roll in between your palms in the air and let gravity help pull it down.  I did not have to flour my hands, but I did have to move quickly!  Drop each pretzel onto the parchment, covering as you go, try to make sure the ones that end up larger are on the edges of the sheet.  Click Here to See How to Tie a Pretzel Knot!

8.  Let both trays rest for 15 minutes under towels while you pour the extra water into a pot and set to boil

9.  Mix baking soda and 2 tablespoons of sugar and pour into the boiling water, in small bursts (each pour will foam, don’t go all at once or it might overflow).  Reduce the temperature to simmer the mixture and once that has been reaches, carefully drop four pretzels (“top” down) into the mix.  Poach for just under 1 minute on each side and use a slotted spoon or slotted spatula (blotting on a paper towel or tea towel) before replacing the pretzel onto the parchment.  Repeat until all pretzels have been poached.  Let rest and blot liquids.

Pretzel Teaser Photo

Mini Soft Pretzel

10.  Beat one large egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush each pretzel with the mixture.  Be careful not to fill the holes between or have any pool on the parchment.  Take a pinch of the coarse salt to each pretzel (add as much as you want) and then pop into the oven for 6 minutes (I didn’t want to over crowd and did one tray at a time).  Check on the pretzels at 6 minutes and rotate the tray and rearrange any that are cooking fast to the center of the tray.  Set to cook for another 5 to 6 minutes (check for golden brown).

11.  Flip pretzels over onto wire rack or cool surface and let rest (if you can take your eyes off them).  Do not cover, do not microwave, do not put in the refrigerator, do not eat all of them in one sitting by yourself (seriously, share with friends!)

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Responses

  1. Just made these a second time — the bottoms did not cook properly on silicone sheets. If you have silicone, flip the pretzels when the tops are golden brown and give them another 2-3 minutes.


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