XO Homemade Pretzels

XO Homemade Pretzels

XO Valentines Pretzels

One of our favorite family meals is fondue night. From chocolate to cheese, we have dipped and dunked just about everything you can imagine into a pot of fondue. Our favorite treat is always homemade pretzels. Based on appearances, pretzels feel rather complicated. But, with a few easy steps, I have made this easy enough for the kids to handle. Once you taste a homemade buttery soft pretzel, you might not return to any other version. I’ve left you with a variety of finishing options for dusting and dipping so that you can enjoy these either savory or sweet. You can make a traditional pretzel braid or heart shape, but I love the pairing of an XO.

Homemade Pretzels – Yields 8 pretzels. Approximately 1.5 hours start to finish.

1 c Milk (the fatter the better so I prefer either whole or Heavy Cream)

1 package Active Dry Yeast

3 Tbsp. Light Brown Sugar

2 ½ c All Purpose Flour

2 Tbsp Softened Butter

1 Tsp, plus 2 Tbsp Salt (I prefer Fleur De Sel)

1/3 c Baking Soda

 

  1. In a small saucepan, warm milk to 110 degrees. It is best to use a thermometer if possible.
  2. Pour warmed milk into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Pour yeast over milk, stir with a wooden spoon, and allow mixture to sit for 2 minutes.
  3. With the mixer on low, add Brown Sugar, Flour, Butter, and 1 tsp Salt. Allow dough to mix for 4 minutes, scraping down the sides with a wooden spoon occasionally to make sure all flour is incorporated. Dough should be smooth and form a solid ball at the end of 4 minutes. If dough is still stuck to the sides of the bowl, add ¼ c additional flour and mix until blended. You should be able to squeeze the dough and it will not come off on your hands. While the dough is working, turn oven on to 250 degrees to warm.
  4. Lightly oil an oven proof metal bowl with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Place dough in bowl and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Turn the oven off, place dough on an oven rack leaving the door slightly open for 3 minutes, then shut the oven and allow the dough to rise and double in size for 1 hour.
  5. After 1 hour, remove the bowl, remove the plastic wrap and punch down the dough. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove dough from the bowl and roll dough into a log, approximately 12-14”. Using a knife, cut the dough into 8 sections. Using your hands, form 4 sections into a circle shape approximately 4” across. Use your knife to cut the additional 4 sections each in half. Roll two sections into 6” long logs. Cross the two sections over and under to form an “X” shape. Repeat for the remaining 3 sections.
  6. Spray one cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Dissolve Baking Soda in 3 cups of warm water. Dip each pretzel into water mixture and place on cookie sheet. Top with remaining salt.
  7. Bake pretzels in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Savory Versions- top with parmesan cheese, Everything but the Bagel seasoning, serve with mustard or cheddar fondue

Sweet Version – Half the salt mixture sprinkled before baking. Melt 4 Tbsp unsalted butter in one bowl. In a separate bowl combine ½ c sugar with 1 Tbsp cinnamon. Dip warm pretzels in melted butter then sugar mixture. Serve with warm caramel or chocolate sauce.