These pretzels are boiled in water and baking soda to create a chewy, soft texture before they’re baked to golden brown. They will fill your house with the pleasant aroma of freshly baked bread and roasted garlic.
Yield: 8 pretzels
- 1½ cups water, heated to 105 to 115 degrees F
- 1 T. sugar
- 1 T. active dry yeast
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 T. unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- olive oil to coat bowl
- 3 quarts water
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1 T. water
- 2 to 4 tsp. coarsely ground sea salt
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
Combine 1½ cups water, sugar and yeast in small glass bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes, until yeast blooms.
Add flour to bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough-hook attachment. Turn to low and pour in yeast mixture. Add butter and salt. Mix on medium until dough comes together into ball, 2 to 3 minutes.
Turn onto floured surface and knead for 3 to 5 minutes, until dough becomes smooth. Form it into ball and place it in large bowl lightly coated with olive oil. Cover with clean dish towel and let it rise for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
In large pot, bring 3 quarts water and baking soda to boil. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Turn out dough onto countertop and knead for about 1 minute, forming it back into ball. Using dough scraper or serrated knife, cut dough into eight equal pieces.
Use your hands to roll each piece into 24-inch-long rope. Shape into U (1), and wrap top ends around each other twice (2). Fold ends toward curve of U and press two ends to connect them (3).
Drop pretzels in boiling water one at a time for about 30 seconds. Remove pretzels with slotted spoon after they float to top. Place four pretzels on each of two baking sheets covered with greased parchment paper or lined with silicone mat.
Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon water in small bowl to make egg wash. Brush tops of pretzels lightly with egg wash. Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt onto each pretzel. Sprinkle between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon minced garlic onto each pretzel, and top evenly with about 1 tablespoon cheddar cheese.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. Freeze in freezer-safe container or bag for up to one month.