Soft pretzels are among the most comforting foods on Earth. They are warm, soft, chewy, salty, and delicious when dipped in cheese. It doesn't get much better than that. So, what if you could make them healthier without sacrificing any taste? I mean, I still douse them in butter. I haven't gone completely crazy. But the extra fiber in this recipe (thanks to King Arthur Flour for the awesome high-fiber flour and white whole wheat flour!) makes that pesky detail melt away into the rich dough. Not surprisingly, Lily was totally into them.
Plus, King Arthur Flour is so great that they have agreed to give one lucky reader a $25 gift card so that you can buy the ingredients needed to make these tasty pretzels! Or, really, whatever else you want because the website has an endless supply of the stuff that bakers' dreams are made of.
To enter for the giveaway, leave a comment telling me how you like to eat your pretzels. Soft and chewy or thin and crispy. Dipped in mustard or queso?
One winner will be randomly selected on February 28, 2013 and will be notified by email. This giveaway is sponsored by King Arthur Flour, but, of course, my opinions are all my own. Good luck!
High Fiber Soft Pretzel Knots
Dough: 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour 1 cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour 1/2 cup King Arthur High-Maize High Fiber Flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast 7/8 to 1 cup warm water*
*Use the full cup in the winter, less in the summer, and somewhere in between in the spring and fall. Your goal is a soft dough.
Topping: 1 cup boiling water 2 tablespoons baking soda coarse, kosher or pretzel salt, optional 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Place all of the dough ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat until well-combined. Knead the dough, by hand or with the stand mixer, for about 5 minutes, until it's soft, smooth, and quite slack. Flour the dough and place it in a bag, and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, prepare the topping: Combine the boiling water and baking soda, stirring until the soda is totally (or almost totally) dissolved. Set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm (or cooler).
Preheat your oven to 475°F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with vegetable oil spray, or lining it with parchment paper.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into sixteen equal pieces.
Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Pour the baking soda/water into a 9" square pan.
Roll each piece of dough into a thin rope (about 8" long), and twist each rope into a knot. Working with 4 pretzels at a time, place them in the pan with the baking soda/water, spooning the water over their tops or flipping them over after a minute; leave them in the water for 2 minutes before placing them on the baking sheet. This baking soda "bath" will give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color.
Transfer the pretzels to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt, if desired. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Bake the pretzel knots for 8 to 9 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter. Keep brushing the butter on until you've used it all up; it may seem like a lot, but trust me on this one. Eat the pretzels warm, or reheat them in an oven or microwave.
Source: Adapted from King Arthur Flour