By: Danya Weiner
The Jewish holiday of Passover (the one where you can’t eat bread) is near, and I’m craving carbs now more than ever. I’m already addicted to carbs, so take them away from me for a week and I go into overload two weeks ahead of time. Unfortunately I am aware of the empty calories related to this love of mine, and therefore I try to be careful to precisely determine if the carbs I’m eating are worth it. Pretzels in all forms are considered worth it.
In the past few weeks I’ve come across several recipes for homemade pretzels that looked enticing. I’ve never tried making pretzels at home for a valid reason-I was once shooting a cookbook with a chef who told me that “real” pretzels are boiled in water mixed with a small amount of sodium hydroxide (the stuff I use to unclog my sink). The recipes I’d been looking at recently didn’t include the toxic stuff, so I gave it a second thought and made my first batch of pretzels.
I can’t say that the first time I made them it was a huge success. The taste was completely up to par, but the look a little less. Let’s just say they came out a little chubbier than I would have liked. I’ve provided some tips so that yours may come out a little prettier.
Things to know before getting started:
Homemade Soft Pretzels
Ingredients for 15-20 pretzels (depending on size):
For the dough:
1/4 oz. active dry yeast (25 grams/1 oz. fresh yeast)
3 tablespoons sugar
½ liter/500 ml. warm water
2 pounds (1 kilo) all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons salt
2 oz./50 grams butter, softened
For the boil:
2 liters water
4 tablespoons baking soda
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
For the glaze:
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons coarse salt