Soft Pretzel Buns EASY RECIPE is what we are making today. Easy recipe because we are making these gorgeous deep golden brown colour pretzels which have a soft interior and chewy texture – easy ways. So you can bake them in your kitchen.
I know the pretzels look as if they are very complicated to make. But to tell you the truth, making pretzels is just like making bread at home. Yes! There are few tricks, but there is nothing outrageous in the recipe that can’t be done in the home kitchen.
In regards to the depth in flavours, it’s absolutely amazing. If you have tried soft pretzels before, you know what am I saying right now. If you have not tried pretzels before, you are sure missing on something. They are more than amazing with mustard base sauce. I will be sharing a quick cream cheese mustard sauce recipe as well.
Here are few more interesting sauces you can have a look at-
Please don’t be intimidated by the recipe, just follow the steps and give it a try. These pretzels are to die for, the perfect fluffiness with a hot mustard dip that has just the right amount of spice. It’s worth the effort.
I want to take you to the method stepwise. So let’s start with the points to read before we start with the recipe:
- Most of the pretzel recipes will call for bread flour. A high-protein flour like bread flour is ideal for this type of dough, so we can’t swap it. The trick is to add a pinch of gluten powder to the regular maida. You will find gluten powder at Aarif (Mumbai). Bread flour is also available online. You can have a look.
2 . The dough comes together very easily and is super soft and easy to work with. As we knead the dough the gluten strands develop and dough becomes stronger and elastic. Which helps in getting the right texture of pretzels. We will also be using a little bit of butter for richness, tenderness, and overall good flavour.
3 . After kneading – Rising – The flavour in pretzels benefit from rising of the dough. But the amount of effort required by you is minimal at this stage. When my dough was rising; I had gone out to pick up Yati (my daughter) from school. This is time to let the yeast do its work. The more time you allow, the more the yeast is feeding, and the better the flavour develop.
First, the dough will need to rise altogether, just after mixing. This stage is called bulk fermentation and is largely for flavour development, though it also contributes to the texture of the final dough. This period will usually take 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
4 . Then, you’ll cut the dough into even pieces ( use a weighing scale or eyeball the pieces when dividing) and let it rise again. This stage is called bench rest and is a much shorter period of time—usually about 15 to 20 minutes. This is primarily so the dough can relax before it’s shaped.
5 . Then we shape the dough. You must have noticed that I have not given the pretzels their classic shape. Most of us think that the hardest part, probably, is twirling the pretzel. To make the recipe easy, I went for a very simple shape. This recipe and technique can be used to make pretzel rolls, pretzel bites, pretzel sticks, and any shapes your imagination can create.
Note: You’ll start out with even pieces (you weighed them just to be sure—and then let them bench rest). Lightly flour your work surface. Remember – very light and less flour on the bench. This dough is not overly sticky, so you should have no trouble working with it.
Here is a look at the recipe infographic for the easy understanding of the recipe
6 . After the dough is shaped, it needs to rise once more. This final rise is called proofing and is where the individual piece is rising. A dough that’s proofed successfully will have the best texture, and it is also a period where the final flavour develops.
7. Now only tricky part comes when you drop the pretzels in a vat of simmering alkaline water bath before baking. This bath essentially gelatinizes the outside of the pretzel, preventing it from fully “springing” during baking and giving pretzels their signature flavour, colour and chewy crust.
Traditional pretzels are dipped in a lye solution before they are baked. Honestly, I didn’t even bother to find lye in the market. Lye can be tricky to get your hands on and trickier to use — it’s a hazardous chemical and requires special precautions in order to use it safely. Baking soda makes a fine substitute.
A strong solution made of baking soda and water will produce similar effects. (about 2 ounces baking soda to 2-quart water).
Drop the pretzels into the boiling water + baking soda. Let them boil for 20-30 seconds each, then place onto a baking sheet.
Here are shaped Pretzels after the soda water bath
After we shape pretzel dough After the soda water bath
8 . Pretzels bake at a high temperature to encourage a fast oven spring and a chewy, dark exterior. Generally, pretzels bake between 400 to 450° F. Bake until they are very golden brown, between 12 to 16 minutes.
9. Like most bread, fresh pretzels are best eaten the same day they are made.
Note: Egg wash before baking, will produce a bronzed crust. You can very well skip using an egg wash and have your very own eggless Pretzel recipe. The only difference you will see is in browning.
Serves them as an appetiser with cheese dip. Here is a quick recipe of my favourite cream cheese mustard dip:
In a mixer add 250 gm of cream cheese along with 2 tablespoons of hung curd. Pulse the grinder till you get a smooth paste. Add 2 tablespoons of whole grain mustard and use a spatula to mix. Your Cream cheese mustard sauce is ready to get indulged in. You can increase or decrease the amount of mustard in the sauce according to the like.
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons instant dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
6 cups bread flour (or maida with two pinch of gluten powder)
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup baking soda (for standard baking soda bath)
Egg wash – (The ratio is usually no more than 1 tbsp liquid per egg)
Sesame seeds – to sprinkle on the top before baking
Coarse sea salt or pretzel salt – to sprinkle on top before baking
Make the dough: In a mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), stir together brown sugar, butter, yeast, salt, and the flour. Add the water and stir just until mixture comes together in a shaggy mass. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until smooth and supple. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning the dough once, so the top is lightly greased. Cover with plastic
Note: When adding the water to the flour mix; don’t add all the water at once. You might need a little less or little more water than what the recipe has mentioned. This is more like making a dough for your everyday Roti (Indian flat bread) at home. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until smooth and supple.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning the dough once, so the top is lightly greased. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until it has almost doubled in size (about 1 1/2 – 2 hours) depending on the weather.
When the dough has doubled in size, gently punch it down to release the air.
To shape- Sprinkle your work surface lightly with flour. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and use a bench cutter to divide the dough into equal lumps. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for about fifteen minutes (this relaxes the gluten).
Sprinkle your work surface again and start with one of the pieces of dough. Gently but firmly, pat one piece of the dough into a rough rectangle. Make sure the bottom isn’t sticking to the work area.
Fold down the top third of the dough. Fold the bottom third of the dough up and use the heel of your hand to seal the edge.
Use the edge of your hand to pat a crease in the middle.
Use the palms of your hand to gently press and roll the loaf into a shot log form. Start with your hands in the middle of the loaf and gradually move them to the outer edge as you roll.
Transfer formed pretzel buns onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper (for easiest removal), giving each room to grow. Let rest at room temperature.
Bring 2 quart of water to a boil. Add baking soda (and step back, it foams up quickly) and stir to dissolve. Poach pretzels for 1 minute on each side in solution. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pretzels to baking sheet. Continue until all pretzels are poached.
Beat egg with a teaspoon of water and brush it over poached pretzels for improved glossiness(If desired). Make slashes in buns using a sharp knife or kitchen scissors.
Note: Slash deeper than you think necessary or the lines will disappear as it bakes.
Sprinkle pretzels with coarse or pretzel salt and sesame seeds and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating tray once to get an even, dark colour. Transfer to rack. Serve warm with cream cheese mustard sauce.