Homemade Soft Pretzels

Spring training for Major League Baseball starts this week. To say the least, Dan is a little excited. He is a HUGE Milwaukee Brewer’s fan, and they have a great line-up this year! Well, according to him they do. I tend to take his word for it on all baseball-related matters.

It’s okay though. He takes my word for it on all food-related matters, so we’re about even.

So while he’s thinking about the team and whether or not there is a game we can go to now that we live in New York, I’m thinking about the ultimate stadium snack: soft pretzels.

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And dare I say, these are even better than the typical stadium soft pretzel?

Crispy little shell on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside. Is there anything better? I think not.

Well, except for maybe these brownies.

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Homemade Soft Pretzels

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (just over 1 packet)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing and the pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • Coarse sea salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the 1 1/2 cups of water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Once the yeast is foamy (approximately 3-5 minutes), add the flour, 2 teaspoons of salt and olive oil. Using the dough hook attachment, knead 5-6 minutes, or until the dough forms a smooth ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  2. Savvy Tip: If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead the dough by hand on a floured surface!
  3. Transfer the dough to a well-greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450F. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
  5. In a large stockpot, bring the rest of the water and baking soda to a boil.
  6. Meanwhile, divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3/4"-thick long rope, curve into a U-shape, then cross the ends over to create the traditional pretzel shape.
  7. Boil each pretzel in the water and baking soda for 30 seconds. Use a slotted spatula to transfer the pretzel to the greased cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.
  8. Bake at 450F for 13-16 minutes, or until the surface is browned and starts to crackle. Immediately transfer to a cooling rack, and allow to cool at least partially before serving.

Make Ahead and Storage

http://www.savvyeat.com/homemade-soft-pretzels/

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I’ll confess, I’ve been making soft pretzels for awhile now, but the recipe was never quite right. I FINALLY found one that I love. And now? I’m more than a little obsessed.

I love them so much, in fact, that I’ve decided to do a Soft Pretzels Week on Savvy Eats. Either next week or the week after; I haven’t decided yet.

What’s your favorite stadium food? Are you excited about spring training and baseball season like Dan?

Super Fudgy Brownies

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These brownies are SO fudgy. SO cakey. SO rich. SO perfect.

In fact, I ran into a problem while tasting them. On the one hand, they are so delicious that you don’t want to stop eating them. Ever. On the other hand, they are so rich that you can only eat a little at a time.

The solution? Enjoying several little brownies throughout the day? Or having just one after dinner, savoring every bite? You decide.

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Super Fudgy Brownies

Yield: 12 brownies

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour (or whole-wheat flour)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9x9" baking pan.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate, butter and olive oil together, stirring until smooth.
  3. Whisk in the sugars, then add the flour, eggs, vanilla and salt. Stir until well blended.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula, smooth the top of the brownies, then sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the pan.
  5. Note: You can stir in the chocolate chips instead of sprinkling them on top. They are only on top here because they were a last-minute addition to the recipe. A fantastic, fantastic addition.
  6. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into squares.
http://www.savvyeat.com/super-fudgy-brownies/

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So what do you think? Several little brownies throughout the day? Or just one after dinner?

For the record, I choose savoring one brownie after dinner.