Saturday, August 27, 2011

Soft Pretzels

A delicious nibbler to serve along with steins of foamy beer. Pretzels originated centuries ago in Germany.

2 packages active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
2 teaspoons salt
6-1/2 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons water
Coarse salt

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water. Add sugar, butter, egg, 2 teaspoons salt, and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth.

Stir in enough additional flour to form a stiff dough. Cover tightly with foil; refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cut each half into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 20-inch length. Shape into looped pretzels.

Place pretzels on lightly greased cookie sheets. Blend egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water; brush over pretzels. Avoid dripping on cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk (about 30 minutes).

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Makes 32 pretzels