This last weekend I had a chance to go out with some friends and we stopped by the mall for a little shopping. I happened to be absolutely starving and of course we passed one of those yummy pretzel shops that adorn malls everywhere. I passed it and really wanted to grab a pretzel but since we were going out to dinner afterwards I decided that I could wait. When I really want something and don't get it than it enters my thoughts until I finally give in. Thus my need to make some of those hot buttery mall pretzels.
I recently got the King Arthur Flour: Bakers Companion Cookbook and have been meaning to make their recipe for the mall-type pretzels. I decided today that my desire for those yummy pretzels could wait no longer and I am so glad that I made them. In fact the batch is already gone. My son kept sneaking them when I wasn't looking. I finally had to hide the last one so that I could eat it later when he was taking a nap.
If you love those yummy mall pretzels then you should try this recipe. It doesn't make the chewy, bagel-type pretzels but the soft, buttery doughy-type. A definite keeper in my book. For toppings I used sea salt for a few, cheddar cheese for a couple more and my favorite buttered and then lightly dusted with ranch powder (the kind you use to make ranch dip or dressing). Of course you could go for the sweet versions like cinnamon-sugar but I personally prefer all of the salty flavors.
Buttery Mall-Type Pretzels
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
7/8 to 1 cup water
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
3 Tbs. salted butter, melted
1. Place all dough ingredients in bowl of mixer and mix until combined. Up the speed and knead for 5 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. Dust the dough lightly with flour and place in a plastic bag. Close bag and let rest for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 500°. Spray 2 baking pans lightly with cooking spray. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Let the pieces rest for 5 minutes uncovered.
3. Roll each piece of dough into a long thin rope, about 28 inches long. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape. Dip the pretzels into the warm water that has been mixed with 1 tsp. sugar and place them on the baking sheet. Sprinkle them lightly with salt if desired and let them rest for 10 minutes uncovered.
4. Bake pretzels for 8-9 minutes rotating the pans half way through. Remove the pretzels from the oven and brush them generously with the butter. Use all of the butter, it will absorb into the pretzels so keep on brushing them until it's gone. Top them with desired topping.