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I am…..

…..craving something warm and chewy and yeasty.  A bagel perhaps?  Or how about homemade bread?  Nope.  Instead I’m craving these wonderful soft mini pretzel knots I made a couple weeks ago for Super Bowl Sunday (an unofficial American holiday). 

These little knots were so yummy and amazingly simple.  The recipe can be tweaked to your liking.  Go ahead.  Try it!

Ingredients:

2 c. warm tap water (100-110 degrees F)

1 Tbsp honey

1 scant Tbsp instant yeast (e.g. SAF)

3 c bread flour

1 c white whole wheat 

1 c all purpose flour

1 Tbsp kosher salt

1/4 c baking soda

2 Tbsp sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tbsp water

Coarse or pretzel salt

Cooking spray oil

Directions:

Combine warm water and honey in bowl of electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Sprinkle in yeast, gently stir and let sit for 10 minutes.  The yeast should wake up and become foamy. (This is the point where you stare at your yeast and, in your best imitation of “Young Frankenstein”, scream, “Give my creature LIFE!!!!” – Really, it helps. Trust me)

Combine all of the flours in a separate bowl.  With the electric mixer on low, add 1 cup of the flour mixture and mix until combined.  Add salt and 3 cups more of the flour.  Beat on low for 30 seconds.  Increase mixer spead to medium-low and continue to bead dough until it pulls away from the sides; about 1 1/2 minutes.  Add another 1/2 cup flour and knead on low 1 more minute.  If dough is still wet and sticky, add 1/2 cup more flour and knead 30 seconds.  Continue to knead for about 5 more minutes adding a little more flour if dough is too wet. 

Meanwhile, spray the bottom of a large bowl with cooking spray.  Also, spray one side of a piece of plastic wrap.  Place dough in bowl, turning it once.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.  Leave bowl in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Prepare two baking sheets by either lining with silicone mats, parchment paper, or spraying lightly with cooking oil. 

Punch down the dough to remove air bubbles. Transfer to a lightly floured surface.  Knead a couple times.  Divide dough into about 32 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a 12-18 inch long strip.  Tie each piece into a single knot.  Transfer to baking sheet; you should be able to fit about eight on each sheet.  Cover and let rise slightly; about 15 minutes.

Fill a large pot with 3-4 inches of water and bring to a boil.  Add baking soda (step back here because it foams up quickly) and 2 Tbsp sugar.  Gently add 3-4 pretzels at a time to the water and poach 1 minute on each side.  Return poached dough to the baking sheet. 

Brush each pretzel with egg wash.  Sprinkle with salt and bake until golden brown (12-15 minutes).  Cool on a wire rack or serve warm (warm is best!)

Store at room tempurature uncovered for 2 days or freeze for later.

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