When I was a teenager I worked at a clothing store in the mall. Of course at fifteen I loved everything from the Food Court, however bad it was. But across from my store was one of those pretzel places. You know the ones, fully equipped with different flavors...cheese, nacho cheese, covered in garlic powder or cinnamon and sugar. This is where my love affair with soft pretzels began. I thought these were the best thing in the world. My absolute favorite were the ones covered in rock salt with the fake cheese dip.
As I've told you before, my bread machine has made my life so easy and delicious. Here's another example of how great it really is. Simply add the ingredients, press a button, a little rolling and twisting and voila, delicious soft pretzels, just like at the mall. Obviously many things have changed since my days working at the mall. My soft spot for soft pretzels and clothing though, is as strong as ever.
RECIPE courtesy of http://www.recipezaar.com/45567:
1 package dry active yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
Place ingredients in bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select White Bread setting, Manual and then press Start. After the machine has completed the second rising cycle, it will beep. Remove the dough onto a very lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 parts. Divide each fourth into 3 pieces. Roll each piece into an 18” rope. Shape rope into a circle, overlapping about 4” from each end, leaving ends free. Take one end in each hand and twist at the point where dough overlaps. Carefully lift ends across to the opposite edge of circle. Tuck ends under edge to make a pretzel shape; moisten and press ends to seal. Place on greased cookie sheet. Let rise, uncovered, until puffy, about 20 minutes. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine 2 quarts of water and 1/3 cup baking soda; bring to a boil. Lower 1 or 2 pretzels into the saucepan; simmer for 10 seconds on each side. Lift from water with a slotted spoon. Return to greased cookie sheet. Let dry briefly. Brush with 1 egg white slightly beaten. Sprinkle with course salt or sesame seeds or leave plain. If you leave them plain, after they bake you can dip into melted butter then in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake 425 for 4 minutes – then turn cookie sheet around and bake 4 more minutes.
Makes 12 pretzels