This is really easy and fairly simple recipe for soft cinnamon pretzels. This is the american version (with UK measurements), which is soft and fluffy, unlike the german style traditional hard pretzels.
I got into making pretzels when I tasted the most amazing cinnamon pretzel from a street stall in London. The taste is just so delicious, sweet and slightly chewy. Althought there is a bit of preparation involved, it's pretty easy recipe to make.
We normally bake a batch of pretzels on Sunday and it's great fun to bake with children too. This recipe is for cinnamon pretzels, which is the simpliest versions of filling (or toppings if you like), but you can swap it for chocolate, peanut butter or any other topping you fancy.
A friendly word of warning before you start.
The recipe calls for dunking the pretzels in a very strong solution of hot water and baking soda. This solution is very strong and has annoying habit of spilling or dripping on a work counter as you work. We have a hard wood kitchen tops and the soda left pretty bad black stains on the wood. To this date, I wasn't able to scrub it or clean it with anything, so just be careful!
A health and safety warning aside, lets get on with the recipe!
Cinnamon Pretzel Recipe
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
25g dark brown muscovado sugar
50g unsalted butter - melted
oil, for greasing
3 table spoons of bicarbonate of soda
Cinnamon and caster sugar mixed together
First of all, put the flour, yeast, sugar and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl and mix together to combine. In a large jug, mix together 300ml lukewarm milk and the butter. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the milk, mixing together to form a rough dough.
Tip out onto a floured work surface and knead for 10-15 mins or until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and set aside until doubled in size, about 1hr. You can leave to prove the dough in the fridge over night. It will take about 8 hrs to rise, but it will also improve flavour.
Once risen, knock out the air bubbles in the dough and divide into 8-12 equal pieces, depending on how large you want your pretzels to be. Using your hands, roll each piece into a long rope about 30 cm long. Make sure you stretch the dough from the middle, otherwise the gluten in the dough will fight you back.
To form into pretzels, lay the rope in a U-shape with the curve pointing towards you. Take the two ends and cross them over.
Take the ends, lift them backwards and press them into the curve of the U-shape. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Heat oven to 190C/160C fan/gas 5.
Carefully place the pretzels on a baking tray lined with parchment and lightly greased with oil. Cover lightly with oiled cling film. Set aside for about 20 mins until puffy (but not fully risen like bread dough).
Fill a heatproof bowl with a boiling water and dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in. One at a time, carefully lift the pretzels and dip them in the soda solution. repeat with all and place them back to the baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins or until a golden brown. Once baked, brush them with some more melted butter and dip them into the cinnamon sugar. Allow to cool on a wire rack and serve with your best coffee!
These soft cinnamon pretzels are best eaten on the day, but if you wanted to freeze them, I would leave them to cool down first without brushing them with melted butter and dipping them in the cinnamon sugar.
Freeze them on the same day and when you want to eat them warm them up in the oven on 180C for 5-7 minutes and then brush them with melted butter and cover with cinnamon sugar. The best thing is that your house will smell amazingly and everyone will think that you've been spending the whole day in the kitchen, when all you did was just to open your freezer!
As ever, I love to know how you got on with this recipe, so do leave me a comment below!
Until next time - happy pretzel baking!
MY OTHER SWEET DOUGH RECIPES
Soft Cinnamon Pretzel Questions & Answers
What are soft pretzels made of?
Soft pretzels are very similar to a bagels and they are always made with yeasted dough using bread flour. They contain more water than hard salt pretzels, milk and butter which is what makes them soft.
How many calories are in one cinnamon pretzel?
This of course depends on how big you make your pretzels and how much sugar you cover it with, but if you think about the size of a commercial pretzel, you are looking at around 450-500 calories per one large cinnamon pretzel.
How do you reheat a soft pretzel?
Cinnamon pretzels taste delicious when they are warm, so to reheat your soft pretzel just pop it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or so. Oven set for 180C for 5 minutes will do the same trick.
Can you freeze a soft pretzel?
You can save yourself a lot of time by batch baking and then freezing your soft pretzels until you need them. You can freeze soft pretzels when they are baked, but before they are coated in sugar. The sugat is very likely turn soggy as you defrost the pretzels, so I would freeze them before you do any coating. Once defrosted again, bake them at 180C for about 5 minutes and then coat them with sugar and cinnamon.
Can you freeze a soft pretzel dough?
Yes, you can freeze the pretzel dough up to 3 months. When you want to make your pretzels, just defrost the dough overnight in the fridge and continue with the recipe.
Why do you dip pretzels in baking soda?
The baking soda helps to give the pretzels their chewiness, flavour and colour. In a case of a hard pretzels, they get their lovely crunch and shine from the baking soda bath.