So who out there loves a warm, melt-in-your-mouth giant soft pretzel? You know the kind you find in the food stands in malls, movie theaters, etc…. So pretty much all of us right? I thought so! Well thanks to our friends at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, we got to try our hand making various things with their at-home Baking Kit’s recently. We recently featured how to make your own pizza with these kits, it’s been a blast!
Well I decided to tackle the pretzels, since that’s really the whole inspiration for the kit. Though after making these I must get my hands on another kit because their are so many other things that can be made with them, and the dough tastes too amazing.
Anyway…below you can find my cooking adventure, with some basics on how fun it is to make these delish pretzels at home. Enjoy!
1. Get yourself a Baking Kit… to learn how check out Auntie Anne’s Website.
My first piece of important advice is to read ALL the instructions beforehand carefully. Anyone who knows me knows that this is not my strong suit, as I tend to dive in and read later… not recommended when making these. I almost ruined everything with my impatience. But I sorted it all out.
Note: For more specific instructions, see the directions that come with each box (as seen below), this blog post is simply a guide and some insight into my experience.
Items You’ll Need:
- Large mixing bowl
- Plastic wrap
- counter-top space (lol… which I quickly ran out of)
- Large glass bowl
- At least 2 large cookie sheets
- And of course a Baking Kit as mentioned above
2. I started off by dissolving the yeast package into 1 1/4 cups of lukewarm water. It sits for 2 minutes. I quickly realized that I really don’t know what constitutes lukewarm and the degrees suggested in the directions were impossible to gauge, so I guessed! Welcome to how baking goes in my house. 😛
3. Next you add the entire dough mix package into the yeast/water mixture.
4. Use the spatula or your hands (like I did) and mix until dough forms into ball.
5. Now it’s time to prep your counter or large cutting board by lightly coating with flour. Turn the dough onto this surface and knead until soft and slightly tacky. You can always add a little flour if it gets too sticky.
6. Now once you’ve finished kneading (by the way that’s my favorite part! It’s like reverting back to childhood with your play-dough) you place that ball of dough into a large glass bowl. Make sure to spray the bowl with non-stick spray.
Then take some plastic wrap and cover, tucking the sides down around ball so the dough can’t dry out. You must place this bowl in a warm area for 30 minutes so the dough can rise, the directions say 85 to 90 degrees.
Since it’s winter right now and my house is always a comfortable 72 degrees… I achieved this warm area by turning on the above stove light and turning the oven to a low 250 degrees F, and placing the bowl on top of the oven. It felt warm enough so it worked for me! See, when in doubt just improvise.
7. Time for Pretzel baking! Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
8. Decide where you want to roll out your pretzels. The area you lay out the ball of dough needs to be sprayed with non-stick spray and the pretzel rolling area YOU DO NOT SPRAY. Here’s where that whole counter-top space thing comes into play.
9. Once you’ve sprayed an area and turned the dough out (I interpreted this as flatten out) to the size of about 15″ long by 8″ tall, you then cut the dough into 1 1/2″ by 8″ strips.
10. This is when it starts to get a little tricky (unless you’re a dough master or experienced bread maker) I just played around from here. The idea is to take each strip at a time and roll out (on separate clean area) into a 1/2″ by 36″ long roll. The directions say to “move hands outward while pulling, stretching and rolling”. Ha! Well I tried that and still somehow didn’t end up with 36.” I’m sure it was just user error on my part, haha.
To be honest, I think the key is to just get it to a size you can work with and form into a large pretzel. Since I was working in different shapes I improvised from here on out. You can see some examples below, see if you can guess what I’m spelling…
11. Once you’ve rolled out all your dough strips to their appropriate shapes, you then dip (or brush in my case) each one into the prepared hot baking soda water (see box directions for specifics). Place on paper towel to drain excess.
12. Spray baking sheets with non-stick spray. Move pretzels to the sheets.
*Important, make sure your oven has one rack in the middle or near top, do not put these pretzels near the bottom it’s too hot!
13. Sprinkle each pretzel with the provided salt or if desired, cinnamon sugar mix (they come in the box).
14. Bake each tray one at at time for 5 minutes, turn 180 degrees and bake 3 to 5 more minutes to desired golden brown. Don’t over-bake and keep an eye on these, I almost burnt my first tray!
15. Once all the pretzels are done and removed from oven, the directions say you can melt some butter to put on top and add more salt or cinnamon sugar. This is all optional.
See my finished product below… and yes it spells RecipeLion, for RecipeLion.com!
So though I’ll admit this is a bit of work and you do need to pay careful attention, it’s still tons of fun and you really can get creative with it!
Thanks for sharing in the fun and have a great day!
Also for another take on Auntie Anne’s Pretzel making, check out this video below from a friend of RecipeLion’s!