Craving for those Famous “Mall” Pretzels? Well crave no longer, why not make them yourself at home, for pennies! Here’s how…..
1 1/4 cups WARM water
1 Tbsp. PLUS 3/4 tsp. Active dry yeast
1 tsp. granulated Sugar
3 3/4 cups All-purpose flour
3/4 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp. Powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Vegetable oil
1/2 cup Unsalted butter, melted
3 cups very WARM water
1/2 cup Baking soda
1/2 cup granulated Sugar
2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
Melted butter, unsalted
Begin by combining the yeast with the granulated sugar. Add in the warm water. Stir to combine well and dissolve the yeast.
Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and allow the yeast to “bloom” or rise until almost doubled.
While the yeast is rising, in the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Stir this well to combine.
Once the yeast mixture has bloomed, pour it over the flour mixture.
Add the vegetable oil. Attach your stand mixer’s dough hook and knead this for approximately 10 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth.
Using your hands or a pastry brush, lightly coat the inside of a larger bowl with shortening. Place the dough inside the bowl and rotate it around to coat it with some of the shortening, this will allow the dough to stay moist and not form a dry crust. Now cover the dough with a piece of plastic wrap. Place it in a draft free area and allow it to rise until doubled.
When the dough has risen and doubled, preheat your oven to 425°. In a pot, slightly warm 3 cups of water, do not boil. *It should be comfortable enough to put your hands into. Pour the baking soda into a large bowl, SLOWLY add the warm water. The baking soda will start to fizz. Stir it to dissolve then set this aside. Prepare your baking sheets as well, by coating them lightly with shortening or baking spray.
Now turn the risen dough out onto the counter, DO NOT USE ANYMORE FLOUR! Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut a piece of dough and roll it out into a long rope-like piece, roughly about 18 – 20 inches.
NOTE: The thicker the rope, the more bread-like your pretzel will be. The thinner the rope, the more chewy it will be. I prefer the thinner version.
To form the “pretzel shape”, start by forming a “U” or horse shoe, facing away from you, as pictured.
Crisscross the ends, as pictured.
Now TWIST or criss cross the ends once again, as pictured.
Now taking the two ends, bring them towards you and attach them to the dough pressing them down to seal.
NOTE: Don’t worry about shaping them much here, wait until you place them on the baking sheet.
Now take the pretzel, grabbing hold of the two ends you just sealed, and dunk them for about 30 seconds, into the baking soda/water solution. Remove the pretzel from the water solution and dab it on a paper towel or kitchen towel for a second, to allow the water to drip.
NOTE: To make pretzel rods, form your rope as normal, cut them into 3 or 4 equal sections and continue the process as instructed. Wrap hot dogs, with the ropes, winding the dough around the hot dog, leaving about an inch open on each end. Make sure to dunk the wrapped hot dogs into the water solution before baking.
Immediately place it onto the prepared baking sheet, and shape into the pretzel form; stretching the dough as needed. Top with coarse Kosher salt or Maldon Sea Salt flakes on some of the pretzels. If you’re making the Cinnamon sugar type, do not add salt to those.
Continue rolling the rest of the dough, in the same manner. Now place them into the preheated oven and bake them for 4 minutes, then rotate the pan and allow them to bake for an additional 4 – 5 minutes until golden brown. While the pretzels are baking, combine the ingredients for the cinnmon/sugar mixture. Set this aside.
Remove them from the oven and immediately brush them GENEROUSLY with the melted butter. After all, that’s how it’s done with the “mall” version. Actually, they are completely dunked into melted butter, which is another option you could do, but I prefer to just brush them generously.
After brushing them GENEROUSLY with the butter, take the buttered side of each pretzel (the ones you’re making sugar/cinnamon with) and coat it with the sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Allow to cool slightly on a rack before serving, ENJOY! 😉