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List: Posted: 03/05/12
If you've ever been to New York, or seen the city in pictures, you'll know that the streets are bustling with food vendors on almost every corner. Hot dogs, pizza, even ice cream is all there for the taking. A staple among these food vendors are warm, doughy, melt in your mouth soft pretzels. Add a dash of salt, a squeeze of yellow mustard, and these hearty treats may just be the ultimate NYC street food.
Here is a recipe to make these classic New York style pretzels at home. This makes about 8 large pretzels and takes about 2 hours to fully prepare and serve, so plan ahead if you are making these for a party at home, or taking them to a picnic or ballgame.
1 tablespoon sugar
1 (¼ ounce) package active dry yeast (2 ½ teaspoons)
3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons course salt (big pieces)
1 tablespoon regular salt
To start, stir together the sugar, yeast and 1 ½ cups of warm water (105°F) in a glass bowl and let stand 5 minutes, or until mixture starts to foam. The mixture HAS to foam for these pretzels to work. If it doesn't foam, you need to start over again.
Next, whisk together 3 ½ cups of the flour and 1 tablespoon regular salt in a large bowl. Add the foamy yeast mixture and fold together until it forms into a dough. Dust countertop with 1 tablespoon flour, then knead the dough; adding additional flour as you go to make the dough smooth, but sticky. The dough needs to be sticky to properly form the pretzel shape.
When dough has reached the proper consistency, return it to the large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until double in size (this takes about 50 minutes).
Next, place the dough back on the countertop and cut into 8 equal pieces. Using your palms, roll 1 piece back and forth to form a rope about 24 inches long (a quick dusting of flour on your hands will keep the dough from sticking to your fingers). Now, twist dough into a pretzel shape. Find a picture of a pretzel if you need to jog your memory on how to do this.
Transfer twisted pretzels to an oiled baking sheet, spacing them 1 ½ inches apart. Let pretzels rest on the baking sheet uncovered for about 20 minutes before transferring to oven. In the meantime, preheat oven to 425°F and place oven rack in upper third of oven.
Next, bring a 6-quart pot of water to a boil. Add 3 pretzels (1 at a time) to the boiling water and cook, turning over once until pretzels are puffed, about 3 minutes. Transfer pretzels to a rack to cool, and repeat the process with the remaining pretzels.
Finally, line baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange pretzels on sheet. Brush pretzels lightly with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the course salt. Bake until golden brown and lightly crusted, about 30 minutes. Cool pretzels for 15 minutes on rack and serve warm with an assortment of mustard.
Pretzels are best eaten the day they are made, and will keep uncovered at room temperature for 12 hours. Although they can be refrigerated, the salt is likely to dissolve. To re-warm pretzels, place in a toaster oven or a preheated conventional oven for about 5 minutes at 250°F.
The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Local.com. See Additional Information