Homemade Pretzels: The Ultimate Superbowl Food

31 Jan

Unlike millions of Americans, this weekend I do not plan on watching the Superbowl. I know that to many people this is unthinkable, but personally I would rather use the few hours when the rest of the world is glued to their TVs to take a figure drawing class, go to yoga, bake something, or tackle a craft project from my Pinterest. If like me, you don’t actually care about the Superbowl I invite you to join me in dedicating these few hours of downtime to doing something that will make you smile and get your new week off to a good start.

If, however, you DO plan on watching the Superbowl, I highly recommend that you make these homemade pretzels for whomever you are watching the game with. The men and children in your life will idolize you for it.

Initial dough prior to being kneaded

I know that there are dozens of pretzel recipes floating around the internet, and to be fair I have never tried any of the other recipes, but this is the one I swear by. I first made these pretzels almost two years ago for my boyfriend, and now whenever I ask him what I should make the answer is always the same…”Pretzels!” These don’t look quite as pretty as Wetzel’s Pretzels (when I make them at least…maybe yours will be more attractive), but they taste almost exactly like them. My boyfriend, Goose, is a pretzel-aholic so he when he says these are the best, it must be true!

Kneaded Dough

The secret to these babies is dipping them completely in butter as the final step. Sure, you could just lightly drizzle them, or you could even use olive oil if you are trying to be super healthy, but to truly enjoy this delectable game day treat, go for the butter!

Heated dough rising

Homemade Pretzels

Recipe from Food Network Magazine

Rolled out pretzel dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Package active dry yeast
  • 3 Tbs packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 Cups flour, plus more for kneading
  • 10 Tbs ( 1 1/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 Tsp fine salt
  • 1/3 Cup baking soda
  • 2 Tbs coarse salt (pretzel salt)

Pretzels fresh out of the oven

Directions:

  1. Warm the milk in a saucepan until it’s about 110 degrees, then pour the warm milk into a medium bowl and sprinkle it with yeast
  2.  Let the yeast soften for about 2 minutes, then stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon
  3. Microwave 2 tablespoons of butter and soften if in the microwave for 20 seconds, then stir it into the mix
  4. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, incorporating more flour as needed, until smooth and firm, then shape the dough into a ball
  6. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour (when the house is too chilly, I turn on the heater or place it by the hot stove)
  7. After an hour preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  8. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn onto a lightly floured surface.
  9. Divide the dough into 6 pieces, then roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a long rope (the recipe recommends 30 inches but mine are never quite that long)
  10. Hold the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch to form a pretzel shape
  11. Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow dish and dip each pretzel in the solution
  12. Place the pretzels on your baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt
  13. Bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
  14. Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish then dip the hot pretzels in the butter, turning to coat
  15. Place on a wire rack to let excess butter drip off and serve the pretzels warm

Butter-Coated Pretzels

Whatever you end up doing this Sunday, enjoy yourself!
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5 Responses to “Homemade Pretzels: The Ultimate Superbowl Food”

  1. Lucy's Cafe February 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    I like that you equated the time spent watching the to downtime for personal interests–I’m planning to do my best to avoid it as well. It’s my birthday and watching the game seems far from fulfilling.

    • Lucy's Cafe February 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

      (watching the game) Ooops!

    • ModernAlice February 2, 2012 at 11:15 am #

      Have a fabulous birthday! I’ll cross my fingers that you will do a post on your gorgeous blog about how you choose to spend it.

  2. Sarah January 31, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    Ohhhhhh yes, definitely making these for the game. I could take or leave the game this year, but I’m all for these pretzels! Thank you SO much for this post!

    • ModernAlice February 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

      I am so glad! Have a fabulous time watching with friends and great food!

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