Soft Pretzels

Be careful not to cook pretzels in water too long other wise they become gooey, soggy and impossible to handle.

Yield: 12 pretzels     (serving size: 1 pretzel)

1 pkg. active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp.)

1 1/2 tsp. sugar

1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

cooking spray

6 cups water

2 tbsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cornmeal

1 tsp. water

1 large egg

2 tsp. kosher salt

  1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes (elevate yeast mixture over smaller bowl of steamy hot water to maintain warmth if needed). Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with knife. Add 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 2 cups all-purpose flour and salt to yeast mixture; stir until soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth an elastic (about 8 minutes). Add enough remaining flour, 1 tbsp. at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky).
  2. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 40 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Divide dough into (12) equal portions. Working with (1) portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent from drying), roll each portion into an 18-inch long rope with tapered ends. Cross one end of rope over other to form circle, leaving about 4 inches at leach end of rope. Twist rope at base of circle. Fold ends over circle and into traditional pretzel shape, pinching gently to seal. Place pretzels on baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 10 minutes (pretzels will rise only slightly).
  5. Combine 6 cups water and baking soda in a nonaluminum Dutch oven. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer. Gently lower (1) pretzel into simmering water mixture; cook 15 seconds. Turn pretzel with slotted spatula; cook 15 seconds. Transfer pretzel to wire rack coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure eith remaining pretzels.
  6. Place pretzels on baking sheet lined with parchment and sprinkled with cornmeal. Combine 1 tsp. water and egg in a small bowl, stirring with fork until smooth. Brush thin layer of egg mixture over pretzels; sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes or until pretzels are deep golden brown. Transfer pretzels to wire rack to cool.

CALORIES 155 (22% from fat); FAT 3.8g (sat. fat 0.7g); CHOL 56mg; SOD 508mg; CARB 23.1g; FIBER 1.8g; PROTEIN 6.8g

based on recipe from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2006

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