January 21, 2013

Pretzel Party Feature

Move over cookies and cupcakes, the soft pretzel is making a comeback onto the party table!
Pretzels can be arranged on platters with a variety of sauces for your guests to dip in.  How perfect for a Super Bowl party!  Pretzel nuggets in cute party bags or cups is a fun idea for the little ones. Think it takes a lot of time to make these? Nope!  I followed a recipie I found on the blog Life made Simple.  It took all of maybe a half an hour to make a batch.

Soft Baked Pretzel Recipe
from Life made Simple stephen + natalie

3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg, lightly beaten - combined with-
1 tbsp melted butter (barely warm)
1 tbsp coarse sea salt OR 2 tbsp sugar combined with 1 tsp cinnamon, to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, line baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add warm water.  Sprinkle yeast and allow to dissolve for 2-3 minutes. Add sugar and mix for 15 seconds.  With mixing speed on low, add salt, then flour a half a cup at a time.  When all of the flour is gone, switch to the dough hook attachment (or place dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4 minutes), mix on low for 4 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Divide dough into 4-6  equal size pieces (or more if you want smaller pretzels).  Roll each ball into a long rope, about 18-22 inches long. Take the ends if the "rope" and bring together to form a circle. Twist the ends together once and bring down to the bottom of the circle.  Press ends into the dough so that they will stick.  Place onto prepared baking sheets.  I also cut the "rope" into nugget sized pieces.
Using a pastry brush, coat each pretzel with egg/butter wash. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt (or cinnamon sugar).  Place sheet of pretzels into oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, turning half way through for even baking.  Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes before serving.

The Life made Simple blog has a recipe for a jalapeno cheddar dipping sauce.  If you are not a fan of spicy, you can make the following two simple dipping sauces: 
Combine equal parts mustard and honey for an easy honey mustard dip.  
Combine Nutella and whipped cream and stir until smooth for a sweet dip.

Check out these creative pretzel ideas-

Image via Rock-UR-party.tablespoon.com

Image via Lansdownelife.com

Image via Indulgy.com

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