I was way overdue to play with some frozen bread dough, and had “soft pretzel” ideas rolling around in my brain along with my last marble. It has not been a fun winter. Not even worth going into it, so all I can say is, we just needed something fun.
A simple, fun, treat. Don’t we all sometimes? I don’t CARE if it isn’t the latest “in thing”, cool kids popular, latest foodie trend, “gluten-free”, vegetarian, and healthy. I don’t have Celiac disease, along with 99% of the rest of us, and we just needed something to indulge in, pick our spirits up (if even for a few moments), while watching a movie. Case closed.
So, easy soft pretzels it was going to be! I still had 3 loaves of frozen bread dough in the freezer just begging to be used before they finally got freezer burned. And I thought that this would do them, (and us!), nicely! 😀
Just wrap a loaf of dough in plastic wrap, and pop it into the fridge to evenly thaw overnight.
The next day, whip up a seasoned egg wash, get the oven going, and start making long ropes!
To get the “pretzel effect” on the outside, you’re going to get a small saucepan of water boiling and add some baking soda to it.
That’s the secret to making not only pretzels, but bagels as well!
I simply sprayed a baking sheet nicely with butter-flavored no-stick spray, Criso’s actually, and that ended up working perfectly. So get that set up also.
Roll and stretch the dough into ropes, shape into pretzels, and one at a time, give them a dunk in the hot tub for 30 seconds!
Place them onto the prepared baking sheet using a fish turner or slotted spoon, and when one sheet is ready, baste with your seasoned egg wash, sprinkle heavily with parmesan cheese from “the green can”, and sprinkle with sea salt, pretzel salt, or semi-coarse salt. Whatever you like and have on hand.
I do just use the “semi-fake” parmesan cheese for this, as I find that real grated parmesan cheese can tend to burn. Not a good taste.
Then just pop them into the oven and bake! And this is where the magic happens. The dough goes from looking really pretty soggy and gross, to absolute pretzel perfection!
We dipped ours into pizza sauce; but, spaghetti sauce, marinara, or even Alfredo sauce for non-tomato lovers would be just as good! Just enjoy however you like!
And don’t worry if your pretzels don’t look perfect. Who cares. As long as they taste good is all that will matter. And when you place them onto the baking sheet, you can fix them a wee bit. But don’t overdo. If they look too perfect, people will think that you didn’t really make them because they’ll look and taste too good!!! 😀
Life is too short to sweat the small stuff. Just have fun!
A give yourself a little treat now and then. You’ve earned it!