Just the name swirls up thoughts of indulgent, buttery, soft, warm pretzels dusted in spicy, woody cinnamon and sweet sugar. They make me nostalgic for the old days and conjure up memories of state fairs and amusement parks, of afternoon picnics and shopping with my mother.
I’m not much of a snacker, but when the mood strikes, I love to whip up a batch of these easy, delicious soft pretzels. If you prefer classic salted pretzels, swap out the cinnamon-sugar before serving and sprinkled with course pretzel salt or sea salt.
2 1/4cupsall-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
The Soda Bath
2 1/2cupswarm water
4tbspmelted butter, for brushing
1/2cup sugar plus 1 tsp cinnamon for topping, mixed
Make the pretzels: Warm the milk in microwave (about 30 seconds); pour into a medium bowl & add yeast. Let it sit about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon. Add 2 tablespoons softened butter; mix. Add the remaining 1¼ cups flour and salt to make a sticky dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface & knead, adding more flour if needed, knead about 5 minutes. Shape into ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper, non-stick mat or grease with butter.
Divide dough into 6 pieces if you want big pretzels (12 pieces if you want smaller ones). Use a lightly oiled surface to roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.
For the soda bath: dissolve the baking soda in warm water in a shallow baking dish. Dip each pretzel in it, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are turning golden brown.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a shallow dish. Brush pretzels with butter or dip them in it. Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mix.