Philadelphia Soft Pretzels
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 TBSP sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup oil
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (11 ounces)
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (11 ounces)
5 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 TBSP water
Combine water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the salt, oil and flour. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on a low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately one hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 445° F. Bring 5 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
In the meantime, divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 18-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto a Silpat lined cookie sheet (or a greased cookie sheet).
Place the pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula and place on a cooling rack. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the sea salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving. Freezes well.
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown from the Food Network. We have loved these pretzels! They are tender and chewy on the inside and dark golden on the outside- they remind me of the pretzels you can buy from a street vendor.
I'm not sure how to upload pictures to this site. Here is a link to a picture of the pretzels. I usually use 3 oz. of dough to make pretzels this size: phillypretzels.jpg (image)