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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Recipe : Soft cinnamon pretzels

Oh cinnamon pretzels, how I love thee. These sugar coated dough twists are the stuff of worn out lust for me on long trips to my local shopping centre. The little pretzel stalls always give out samples, but one bite is never enough and I inevitably always get suckered into buying an entire pretzel, but since they aren't cheap and I don't get to go on many long shopping trips these days, here's how to make them at home and save yourself a fortune.

Despite how ugly I managed to make them look, they taste awesome, I promise!

Ingrediants :

350 ml warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 packet active dry yeast
22 oz plain flour
2 oz melted butter
Vegetable oil for pan
Large pan of water
5 oz of baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water

For the topping:
A few tablespoons of melted butter, 8oz sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon

Add the warm water, yeast and sugar to a bowl and leave for 5 minutes until the yeast begins to activate and the water starts to "froth", then add the salt. Next, begin to add your flour slowly while mixing (I used my mixer for making this dough but you can do this by hand too) and throw in the butter until it's combined into a soft dough. Mix or hand kneed for 5 minutes.

Next, take your dough and place it in an oiled bowl (to stop it sticking) and cover with cling film. Leave it in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour - Top tip: I turned on my tumble dryer for 2 minutes, turned it off and then placed my bowl of dough inside, it's the perfect "warm spot" - Your dough should have doubled in size.

Now for the fun part! Making pretzels, grab a small handful of dough and roll it into a long sausage, twist as above and then flip the "bunny ears" down to form your pretzel shape. This takes a bit of practice (hence why mine look a bit iffy!)

Preheat your oven to 230 C at this point and then your next step is to get a large pan of boiling water and add the bicarbonate of soda. You need to boil each pretzel for 30 seconds, you can add a couple at a time but I liked to shape mine, boil it and then move on to the next one. You'll notice them puff up a little, this is what helps to give them there texture!

Set each one down to dry off a little and then place them on an oiled/lined baking tray, brush with the egg/water mix and cook for 10-15 minutes until brown.

While they're baking, add your sugar and cinnamon to a clean bowl and mix. Melt some butter in a bowl with a pastry brush and get a surface ready for your dipping!

Once the pretzels are out of the oven and left for a few minutes so they're not too hot, brush each one with butter and then dip them in the cinnamon sugar mix to completely coat them.

That's it! They taste best when they're warm, I found that the ones which didn't get instantly devoured where still best when microwaved for 30 seconds.
You can play around with the shapes of these, I made some little bitesized pieces and different sized traditional pretzel shapes and they all tasted just as good so this would be a great thing to get kids involved with as they'll love trying to shape the dough!

These stacks of bitesize pretzels are yummy with a cuppa and if you're feeling extra fancy how about adding some melted chocolate or nutella?

Let me know if you try out this recipe!