Thursday, December 9, 2010

Homemade Pretzels

My first attempt at homemade pretzels, a la Auntie Anne's style. And it was insanely good and super easy to make. I read that the secret to Auntie Anne's pretzels is the sweet butter that's brushed onto the pretzels while they're hot.

So instead of your everyday butter. I decided to make a Fresh Cranberry and Honey Butter. And the combination was like Laverne and Shirley, Batman & Robin, Tarzan & JaneStarsky & Hutch, ok I'll stop. You get my drift.

Oh the pretzels. They. Are. Excellent. The pretzels had a soft yeasty dough and the coating of the Cranberry Honey Butter was ridiculously good. And they're even better if you slather a bit more of that butter. Paula Dean would be proud, y'all!

Printable Recipe
Auntie Anne's Pretzels
Courtesy of CDKitchen with Modifications
1-1/2 Cups Warm Water
1-1/8 tsp Active Dry Yeast
2 tbsp Brown Sugar (I used light brown sugar)
1-1/8 tsp Salt
1 Cup Bread Flour
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Warm Water
2 tbsp Baking Soda
Course Salt to Taste (I did not use any salt)
4 tbsp Melted Butter (I used my Cranberry Honey Butter)

1. A) Add the warm water to your stand alone mixing bowl along with the yeast and stir to dissolve. Add the sugar, salt and stir to dissolve. B) Attach your mixing bowl to your stand alone mixer fitted with the dough hook and add the flour allowing the mixer to operate on speed 2 or 3. C) Knead the dough until it forms a ball around the hook.

2. Take the dough out onto a work surface area and knead by hand until the dough feels smooth and elastic. Form into a ball cover and allow to rise for at least 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

I simply placed a clear glass bowl on top of the dough. You may also place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with saran wrap. Its up to you.

While the dough is rising, prepare the baking soda bath with warm water in another bowl, big enough to dip the pretzels in. Stir the mixture often.

3. Take a pastry cutter and cut your desired amount of dough and begin to roll into a long rope (as long as your heart desires) but no thicker than a 1/2 inch and shape into a pretzel. Repeat until you have used up all the dough.

4. Dip the pretzels in the baking soda bath, allow the access water to drip off. Preheat your oven to 450º at this time.

My adorable sous chef demonstrating his expert 
pretzel dipping skills. Great job love!

5. Place the pretzels on a greased or lined baking sheet and allow to rise for an additional 15-20 minutes. Then bake for about 10 minutes or until golden. Brush on the Cranberry & Honey Butter.

As I write this, the pretzels sitting on the kitchen counter are whispering sweet nothings in my ears in an effort to break me down so I can devour a couple...slathered with some of that butter of course. Enjoy!

P.S. If you wish to view any of my photos in a larger format, simply click the image. Thanks.

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39 Reactions to this post

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  1. Kay Heritage said... December 9, 2010 at 8:17 AM

    You are so creative with your ingredients, Lisa! Love reading your posts!

  2. Debbie said... December 9, 2010 at 8:43 AM

    Your pretzels look perfect! I have been nervous to make my own, but your post has inspired me. Never thought to use a sweet butter on them either, I love honey butter! Thanks

  3. jose manuel said... December 9, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    Te han quedado perfectos, pero perfectos.


  4. Fun and Fearless in Beantown said... December 9, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    Your pretzels look fabulous...simply fabulous!

  5. Lawyer Loves Lunch said... December 9, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    Good God, these look awesome! It's only a matter of time until you put a certain pretzel store that shall not be named out of business :)

  6. Jean said... December 9, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    Lisa, it's like you read my mind. I had a warm, salted Anutie Anne's pretzel at the Chicago airport just a few days ago and I decided I would try to make my own. Thanks for doing the hard work of finding the recipe and testing it! I will surely try this. Love the compound butter, too.

  7. Roxan said... December 9, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Lisa, these pretzels look great! Did you do the thing they do at Auntie Anne's where they grab two ends of the dough, pick them up, let it twist, and when they set it back down it's a perfectly twisted pretzel? I've always wanted to try that. I tried it once with play dough - did not work haha.
    How cute is your son in his jammies?!

  8. kourtney said... December 9, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    They look delicious and even better with the cranberry and honey butter - i have never considered sweetening butter to use in cooking but it makes so much sense. This would also be great just on toast!!

  9. ajcabuang04 said... December 9, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    Nice!! I definitely know this recipe is great because I've used it before!! I love how you decided to use your cranberry honey butter! Great way to change up the recipe instead of using plain ol' butter

  10. Monet said... December 9, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    Can you please open a pretzel shop? Or a restaurant? Or both? I would relocate just to be close to all your delicious creations. These pretzels look beautiful. I love the cranberry butter you served with them. Stunning! Thanks for sharing with me, my friend. Have a wonderful end to your week!

  11. Swathi said... December 9, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Lisa,pretzels looks delicious. I love pretzels. Home made one make more special. You cute little helper. I need to try this.

  12. cooperl788 said... December 9, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    Yum! I love soft pretzels, and these look really doable. The cranberry/honey butter sounds amazing!

  13. Annette said... December 9, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    They sure look yummy! They looked like they were fun too make too...with the rolling and placing them into shape... You sure know how to make a creative display.

  14. Sanyukta Gour(Bayes) said... December 9, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    lisa they look good,yummy n ur super cute helper...

  15. Jennifurla said... December 9, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    These look fantastic, they look soft & oh so tasty. Nice job and good step by step intruction!

  16. whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said... December 9, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    Okay, you know I'll be expecting these when I come out for a visit! Love the cranberry butter, that overpriced pretzel joint should worry!

  17. Zoe said... December 9, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    I love Auntie Anne's pretzels. Yours is so cute. I can see that your little man is so excited to give you a helping hand and watching the mixer working on the cute.

  18. Green Girl @ A little bit of everything said... December 9, 2010 at 11:08 PM

    Lisa, you are amazing. These pretzels look beautiful. I love the cranberry butter you served with them.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Hope you're having a wonderful week

  19. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said... December 10, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    I love the cranberry butter and kudos to you for making these at home. I'm about to try these myself, except a stuffed version.

  20. Sarah Naveen said... December 10, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    So perfect and yummy!!
    awesome clicks too

  21. Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said... December 10, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    Love the cranberry honey butter Lisa! It also shows its face lightly on a pretzel too. The pretzels look perfectly baked-golden brown. I'm recently into baking and I def' try this. I will let you know how it turns out!

  22. Hannah said... December 10, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    Those look beautiful! I want to eat them right now!

  23. Leanne said... December 11, 2010 at 1:40 AM

    Oh my-- pretzels are one of my greatest weaknesses, and combined with this yummy butter I know I wouldn't be able to stop myself eating the whole batch!

  24. new York City Girl Expat in Tokyo said... December 11, 2010 at 2:20 AM

    So happy to have landed upon your site.. I must tell you this story of Auntie Annes before she opened up shop...

    It's amazing, now she is everywhere... I love to make pretzels..far different from the bretzels in Germany, but I prefer the fusion version.. cranberry... that is truly awesome.. and don't you love how the dough wraps around the dough hook?

    Fresh Cranberries are insanely expensive here..

  25. Sommer J said... December 11, 2010 at 3:21 AM

    OK every time I look at my favorite blogs sidebar and see these, my stomach gets mad at me for not going and make these right away! They look absolutely perfect. I live in the Land of Brezels (and chocolate according to Homer Simpson!)- pretty darn good ones, too, but these just looks so dang delicious. Bookmarked for sure. THanks for sharing!! Of course you know I love that butter! PS I love that my favorite lil foodie is helping out as usual- in jammies!!! So sweet to have a day in and get your bake on. He's gonna be a super chef :)

  26. Kulsum@JourneyKitchen said... December 11, 2010 at 6:03 AM

    I have been thinking of trying to make pretzels for so long! and yours look so good, I think I shd go make it!

  27. Pacheco Patty said... December 11, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    Hi Lisa, I love your idea of brushing the pretzels with cranberry butter. Your photo with the cranberries and butter is lovely:)

  28. Dimah said... December 11, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    Beautiful photos! these look scrumptious!

  29. Lana said... December 12, 2010 at 6:03 AM

    These look so inviting! I love Auntie Ann's pretzels and now you have inspired me to make them. My family will love you forever!

  30. aipi said... December 12, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    I always enjoy your posts and the recipes you share..this looks fantastic too!!

    US Masala

  31. Marisa said... December 12, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    Your pretzels came out great! What a fun project to do with your son. I also made my own pretzels recently, and I found that they could have used some butter brushed on. Your cranberry & honey butter looks lovely and I'm sure it made the pretzels even more awesome.

  32. Sook said... December 12, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Hey, I am Korean, too!! The pretzels look so yummy! I love them! :)

  33. Zoe said... December 13, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    Lisa, I am passing on 2 more awards to you (at my blog). Thanks for giving me lots of cooking inspirations. Love all your photos. They are very nice :D

  34. Kim - Liv Life said... December 13, 2010 at 10:50 PM

    So adorable! I love your little helper! Oh, how I miss the footie pj's too... so much cuter than teenage boys in boxers!
    We haven't tried a sweet pretzel yet, but you know how Liv has a sweet tooth... these will have to be on our list!!
    Nicely done!!

  35. Small Burst said... December 13, 2010 at 10:50 PM

    this looks amazing. I'm trying to find things the kids can do while they're home for xmas break at the end of the month and making these pretzesl will on the list.

  36. Trish said... December 14, 2010 at 1:36 AM

    I would be in trouble if these little guys were loitering in my kitchen. I love the idea of cranberry and honey butter- yum! And seeing pretzels is reminding of home and NYC, which I really miss. Love the recipe.

  37. Sprinkles of Parsley said... December 14, 2010 at 3:02 PM

    Printing this recipe riiiiight... now!! All I had to see was Auntie Anne's and I was sold!! This looks absolutely delicious- what a creative recipe!

  38. ~Lisa~ said... December 15, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    They. Were. Good! You can freeze them too.

  39. Ken│hungry rabbit said... January 28, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Catching up on blog post and came upon these lovelies. I'm in love with these darlings.