Buttery Soft Pretzels Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 1)
Reviewed: Jul. 28, 2007
Good recipe, though I replaced the oil with butter and used less flour. Another reviewer asked why the baking soda bath is necessary: Old world Germans used to dip their brezels (pretzels) in a solution of sodium hydroxide (lye) and water before baking. Lye is a very strong and caustic alkaline. Because most people aren't comfortable mixing lye and water to make pretzels, baking soda - a much weaker alkaline - is now used in most pretzel recipes. Once the pretzels begin baking, a 'Maillard reaction' occurs. This is a chemical reaction sortof like carmelization, which allows the exterior crust to become a deep rich brown color. The reaction accelerates in an alkaline environment, which - you guessed it - has been provided by the baking soda bath. The baking soda, and resulting reaction, is also responsible for the unique taste of a pretzel. Without the baking soda bath the pretzel exterior ends up pale/white, and taste more like bread. This baking soda / lye bath step is paramount in making a pretzel a pretzel.
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Reviewed: Jun. 7, 2002
I have gotten into baking breads, etc. since my wife bought a baking stone. This recipe is very good. The pretzels didn't last long. Here's what I will do next time I make a batch: After dividing the dough into 12 pcs., roll the dough out into a rope at least 20-24" long. The dough will expand. Spray "I Can't Believe Its Butter" after I place the pretzels on the sheet and sprinkled coarse salt. I tried this on 3 pretzels from my first batch and they were better tasting. Use a rack that's up higher in the oven to prevent burning of the pretzels bottoms. Make sure my wife stands over me to supervise.
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Reviewed: Jan. 28, 2007
WOW!! These pretzels are absolutely amazing. They were soft and chewy on the inside, awesome flavor, with that great authentic thin "pretzel" crust on the outside. I spooned the melted butter over them after baking which soaked in and was just perfect. My husband described them as "heavenly", haha, never heard him use that one before! Next time I will bake at maybe 415 or lower to keep them from being too brown before being done in the middle. I've been searching for a pretzel recipe and this one was much easier than most that I found. Tip: let dough rise in your oven, no heat, just turn on the oven light. Provides a draft free, warm place for dough to double flawlessly. Also use a damp kitchen town instead of plastic wrap to cover bowl and you won't have a dry crust to your risen dough. I do this with all of my bread recipes!
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Reviewed: Feb. 11, 2007
These are better than Auntie Anne's or Pretzel Time!! My kids ate all 12 within 10 minutes - I couldn't believe how good these were !! I wish I had made a triple recipe. They all said they tasted BETTER than the ones at the mall - I agree ! And a lot cheaper making them yourself ! I was puzzled why the recipe called for them to be dunked in a baking soda and water mixture - if anyone knows why, please explain? I did it anyways. The changes I made = I used 4 cups of flour instead of 5. I used organic pure cane sugar and All Natural sea salt and instead of vegetable oil (I used super healthy 'Organic Virgin Coconut Oil by Tropical Traditions') and also used that to grease the bowl the dough was to rise in. After putting the pretzels in the soda/water mixture, I put them on parchment paper which I sprayed with Olive Oil spray (instead of greasing) and then I sprinkled Kosher salt on the tops of them (on a few others I did cinnamon w/Raw sugar). The oven temp. seemed way to high even at 415, so on the second batch I decreased it to 400 degrees for 8 minutes - they got browned very quickly on top. After removing them from the oven I brushed melted UNsalted butter over the tops and bottoms of them - saturating them with butter (I did not put any more salt on after the butter). Loved the recipe -- the rolling took a while,didn't have a lot of patience - I didn't roll them on the table, I just rolled them between my hands vertically until the 'snake' became long and thin.
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Reviewed: Dec. 22, 2002
Update to my review from over a year ago... I'm still making these pretzels and love them because they are soooo easy. I've found the sea salt is the absolute best thing to top them with (but be sure to use kosher salt in the dough), Excellent recipe! I've found it is best to add 3.5 cups of flour and slowly mix in the final half cup as I'm kneading the dough. I've made these at least 4 times in the past 2 weeks. They freeze up great! Just thaw and pop in the oven for a couple minutes for an awesome snack!!
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Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2006
I couldn't understanding why other reviewers had such a hard time with the dough....then it dawned on me, I did not follow the instructions. I looked at the water, yeast, salt sugar content, mixed all those together and THEN added as much flour as it could hold. That is what I do for all breads, because the amount of flour can vary according to type, weather etc. I found it very easy to knead and roll out. I faced the problem of them sticking to the pan (I don't have a non stick pan). I oiled the pan well, but the water from the soda mixture caused them to stick somewhat. I was suprised I did not read another reviewer having the same problem. We brush with butter when they come out of the oven and drizzle with honey. Thanks for the great recipe.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Houston, Texas, USA
Living In: Amman, Amman, Jordan

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Photo by manda2525
Reviewed: Aug. 10, 2007
As I was reading the reviews, I was pretty unsure about how it was going to turn out. I halved the recipe, because it is just my boyfriend and I, and this was my only mistake! I made them as the recipe stated, using the dough hook on my mixer. I added flour until the dough was no longer sticky, so I do not know exactly how much I ended up using. When rolling out the dough I came up with a trick. You need to make them much thinner than you think, so i rolled small pieces into thin (like about the thickness of a finger) sticks, then joined two together to get them as long as I needed them to twist. I made the dough quite thin, but they puff up a lot, do not worry! I also dipped my pretzels in the baking soda mix, which I think really makes the whole pretzel. When they cook they get this browned yumminess on the bottom, that tastes JUST like the ones at the mall. I just drizzled them with butter and a little kosher salt when they came out warm... they were gone right after that. Will make again and soon!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Northville, Michigan, USA
Living In: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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Reviewed: Jan. 23, 2005
I've been using this recipe for a few years, and have found it to be my most popular bread. My friends STRONGLY encourage me to bring pretzels to most events. A few recommendations- use higher gluten flour to get a little more chewiness. I always need at least 1 1/2 cups of water, sometimes more. The softer the dough, the easier shaping the pretzels is. I bring the soda solution almost to a simmer and soak the pretzels for about 10 seconds each. I also only use 2 or 3 tsp of yeast.
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Reviewed: Jan. 3, 2003
These were DELICIOUS! They taste just like the ones at the mall. They're that good. But I did read the reviews before hand, and decreased the flour. As an alteration I used brown sugar instead of white, I think it tastes better.
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Reviewed: Sep. 21, 2003
Really good! I did knead this more with my mixer for another 3-4 min. It needed to rise for almost 2 hrs. before it looked ready. When I dumped it out of the bowl the dough was perefect. Soft, pliable like it's suppose to be. After dipping in the soda water I allowed the pretzels to sit for another 15 min. for a 2nd small rising. I used an egg wash before baking. THEN I applied the butter after they came out of the oven. This is a must.!! It's what keeps the pretzels from becoming hard like a dough does after baking. I did have to use MORE flour as I kneaded the dough..not less. I recommend this recipe for intermediate and advanced bakers, tho.
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