My family is really into pretzels. Like really into pretzels. It started in Bavaria, when my grandma was a little girl. Whenever she was sick, her family would always know she was better when she asked them to go down the street for a pretzel. There is a giant golden pretzel (GIANT) in my mom’s kitchen that used to hang outside of the Rold Gold factory (I still have no idea how it got there). And now, admittedly, I seem to have caught the mania started by Ollie all those years ago in Germany.
My favorite kind of pretzels are the kind at the mall that you can smell before you see them. Luckily, mall pretzels tend to be vegan if you ask them to hold the butter. But sometimes…I don’t want to hold the butter. So I made my own, with vegan butter galore.
30 minutes later…yeast is magic
gloomy afternoons are perfect pretzel-dough rising conditions
salt on salt
I…went a little hard on the salt
makes four pretzels
1 & 1/8 tsp instant yeast
1/3 cup – 1/2 cup warm water (start with 1/3 and add a little bit at a time if dough is dry)
1 & 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp baking soda (this sounds like WOAH a lot but I promise you won’t taste it)
coarse sea salt
2 tbsp vegan margarine, melted
1. Combine 1/3 cup warm water and yeast in a bowl. Let rest until bubbly (3-4 minutes)
2. Meanwhile, combine remaining dough ingredients in a bowl. Add water/yeast mixture and stir until combined (if dough is dry, add water 1 tbsp at a time).
3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (about 5 minutes).
4. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
5. Divide dough into four pieces and let rest 5 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 260°C (500°F).
7. Combine warm water and baking soda in a shallow bowl. Stir until dissolved.
8. Roll each dough piece into a rope (Mine were about 70 cm, but if you like thicker pretzels, make shorter ropes) and shape into pretzels.
9. Dip pretzels into the water/baking soda mixture and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Rest for ten minutes.
10. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.
11. Take pretzels out of the oven and brush on vegan margarine. Finished!
Source: Adapted from King Arthur Flour Company