A fun baking project the whole family will love!
I remember the first time I made pretzels with my kids. They were so intrigued by the whole process, and were right by my side as we made the yeast dough, let it rise, shaped the twists, boiled them, topped them and finally baked them. Needless to say, the eating was their favourite part of all. You can top pretzels any way you like – with coarse salt, cinnamon and sugar, sesame seeds…or nothing at all… but I love them topped with my ‘everything bagel’ seasoning blend. Enjoy as is, dipped in honey mustard, or as the star of a sandwich.
- 1 cup (250 mL) warm water (100°F to 110°F)
- 1/4 cup (50 g/60 mL) white sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 g/7.5 mL) active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups (565 – 680 g/375 – 450 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 g/7.5mL) salt
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) canola oil
- 1/4 cup (55 g/60 mL) baking soda
- 1 large egg
‘Everything Bagel’ seasoning blend
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted
- 5 tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted
- 5 tablespoons dried onion flakes (not onion powder)
- 5 tablespoons dried garlic flakes (not garlic powder)
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt or fleur de sel
Put all ingredients in a small jar and stir or shake to blend together. Store excess mixture at room temperature for up to 6 months. Great on roasted vegetables, salads and more!
- Prepare ‘everything bagel’ seasoning blend and set aside.
- Pour warm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar into a large bowl (use a stand mixer with dough hook if you have one) and stir to combine. Sprinkle with yeast, and let sit for about 5 minutes, until yeast is foamy.
- Add 1 cup (225 g) of flour to the activated yeast and mix on low speed until combined. Add salt and 1.5 cups (340 g) more flour, and mix until combined, about 30 seconds.
- Beat on medium-low until the dough begins to come together in a ball and starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl (2 – 3 minutes). Add another 1/4 cup (55 g) flour, and knead on low for 1 minute. If the dough is still too sticky to handle, add 1/4 cup (55g) more flour; knead until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter, and knead by hand for about 2 minutes. The dough should now be smooth and elastic.
- Pour the canola oil into a large bowl; place the dough in the bowl and turn the dough over and over to coat completely with oil.
- Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel (an oven preheated to 170F / 75C) then turned off is great for this) for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Punch down dough in the bowl, to remove bubbles. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface.
- Knead the dough a few times just to bring it together into a ball again then divide into 16 pieces (about 3 tablespoons (40 g) of dough per piece). Separate the pieces of dough from each other on the countertop and cover them with a clean tea towel.
- Roll one piece of dough at a time into an approximately 14 inch (35 cm) long rope about ½ inch (1.25 cm) thick; form it into a u-shape then twist the two ends of the rope in the middle and draw the twist towards the rounded part of the U to form a classic pretzel shape.
- Transfer the shaped dough to the prepared baking sheet and cover with a clean tea towel. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Let pretzels rest for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450F (232C) and fill a large, shallow pot (a flat bottomed large poultry roaster is great for this) with 4 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar along with the baking soda to the pot. Stir to combine well and reduce heat so the liquid is just simmering.
- Gently place half the pretzels in the hot water bath and cook one minute per side, then remove with a slotted spoon and put back on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue with remaining pretzels.
- Beat egg with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) water. Brush pretzels with egg glaze. Sprinkle with ‘everything bagel’ seasoning blend. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Let cool briefly on a wire rack, then eat while still warm.
- Pretzels are best when eaten the same day, but can be frozen and reheated in the oven very nicely.
Makes 16 medium sized pretzels.