Auntie Anne’s Copycat Pretzels

As you can see from this photo… I totally nailed it.

My main squeeze sent me a photo of some pretzels his sister made and told me how awesomely delish it was.  Then he challenged me to make it, so duh, challenge accepted.  This recipe comes from a blog called “Cooking Classy”.  Seems fitting – because you know all I do here is cook classy.

Also, this post may seem like it’s missing a bunch of pictures.  That’s mainly because I kind of forgot to take pictures at the beginning, plus waiting for dough to rise is SO BORING.

So here we go, this is what classy cook blog wanted me to have on hand:

  • 2 cups milk (I used 2% like classy cook did)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 6 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus an up to an additional 1/2 cup as needed
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 2 cups warm water
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted

I whisked the milk and yeast together, let it activate for about 5-10 mins or so, then I started to make the mixture by adding the sugar, butter, flour, and salt.

Once all of that was nice and mixed, I kneaded the dough onto a floured surface before I put it back in a big mixing bowl to rise in a warm place.

The warm place of my choice was my very, very warm garage.

Not sure if that was a good or bad idea, because in about an hour, the dough was just about spewing over the rim.  I really wish I had a photo to prove that.  Just believe me.

The it was time to roll the dough out and cut into pieces.  I was supposed to cut the dough into 12 equal pieces, but I didn’t read that far ahead and instead I cut 8 pieces.  Later, when I found out that made jumbo pretzels, I cut my pieces of dough into more reasonable sizes.

Then I rolled the dough out into a long thin rope and proceeded to make a pretzel shape out of it.  If you work at Auntie Anne’s, I applaud you, because I was having a pretty hard time.  I mean, I don’t know how long it takes the average person to twist dough into a pretzel, but I felt like I took a considerably long amount of time.  I knew this for a fact because my other pieces of dough were continuing to rise as I spent all my time making pretzel shapes.

This might have happened also because for some reason this recipe calls for TWO PACKETS OF ACTIVE DRY YEAST ISN’T THAT A LITTLE MUCH?

pretzel1

 Moving on, once I sorted out how to make pretzel shapes, I dipped each twisted dough into a shallow bowl of warm water and baking soda and put it on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking pan.  And then I sprinkled salt on them. It didn’t take long for them to bake – around 10 mins to get golden brown, like so:

pretzel2

Above are my first and second batches.  Do you notice how LARGE AND IN CHARGE they are?

IMG_4602

Not the ropey elegance I was expecting, but the bread itself is very soft and tasty.  Really, this is probably the softest bread thing I’ve ever made.  Fluffy with a hint of butter inside.  They are also best right out of the oven, as most bready foods are.  If you wait to eat them the next day, you’ve got to heat them up because otherwise they just don’t taste that fantastic.

My pretzels may look like a hot mess, but they are a delicious hot mess.

Assessment

Presentation: Eh…………………………just need more practice.  At least you can tell it’s a pretzel, right?
Edibility: Thank goodness.
Tastiness: Also thank goodness they were.  I’d be really upset if I had to throw out a batch of warm salty pretzels.
Rematch?: I’ll make it happen again.  In the meantime I’ll pay a visit to the real Auntie Anne’s for a quick pretzel fix.

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