Friday, September 23, 2011

Soft Pretzels - For Oktoberfest!

Soft Pretzels - to celebrate Oktoberfest and the the first day of Fall!
Oktoberfest has arrived! Some towns like Leavenworth, (my most favourite little town ever!) have three weekends of festivities!! Other towns like Bend only have one.

While the Bend Oktoberfest may not be (sorry to say this Bendites!) as cool as Leavenworth's, the organizers did have the foresight to make it 21 and older today and 21 and older tomorrow after 6pm.  Due to this we chose to be frugal and stay at home this year, so we'll be attending the Bend one! Mmmm...I can't wait to eat a pile of German food tonight! I absolutely adore bratwurst with spicy mustard and sauerkraut, and hunter schnitzel with spatzle dumplings, and warm red cabbage, and hot soft pretzels dipped in mustard! Whew!

In honor of Oktoberfest, and my wallet, I made my own delicious, soft, buttery, pretzels and dipped them in an amazingly good dill mustard I bought from no where other than Leavenworth herself. I just had to bring a little bit of  Leavenworth spirit into Bend ;-) They were easy to make, cost pennies and taste just as good as any pretzel you'll get in a beer garden.

So bake up some pretzels and head out on the town, or stay at home and partake in your own Oktoberfest celebrations. Either way make sure you have lots of fun!

Happy First Day of Fall!

Soft Pretzels dipped in Dill Mustard from Leavenworth WA


Soft Pretzels
adapted from Allrecipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 4 tsp of active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 4 to 5 cups of AP flour
  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • 4 cups of boiling water
  • sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:
  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the warm water, yeast and 1 tsp of brown sugar. Wait 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture is foamy. With the paddle attachment or with a wooden spoon, add the flour cup by cup until you reach 4 cups. Remove the paddle attachment and switch it to the dough hook or dump dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes adding any additional flour as needed. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Form into a ball and place into a well oiled bowl turning to coat. Cover in plastic wrap and place in your unheated oven with the light on for 1 hour.
  2. Once the dough has doubled in size punch it down and turn it out onto a work surface. 
  3. Preheat oven to 450F
  4. Divide the dough into 10 equally sized pieces. Roll each piece into a long snake and shape into a pretzel. 
  5. Boil your 4 cups of water. Reduce to a simmer and add the baking soda. Dip each pretzel into the baking soda mixture, remove with a slotted spoon, place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. 
  6. Bake for 8 minutes. If you are baking 2 sheets at once then switch the positioning of the of the sheets at the 4 minute mark so each sheet of pretzels gets time on the higher shelf to brown properly. 
  7. Freeze any uneaten pretzels the same day you cooked them as they will dry out. They defrost great in the microwave tasting just as soft and fresh as the day you made them!
Soft Pretzels - my super yummy first bite!