Soft Pretzels

I have a terrible soft spot for soft pretzels. When I was a child, my family moved to the East Coast for 4 years. My dad worked in Philadelphia home of the Philly cheesesteak, a city replete with pretzel and hot dog carts. We traveled to NYC fairly regularly with our West Coast visitors who wanted to do the tourist thing. A big part of being a tourist is eating. (Am I right? All y’all out there are you with me? Yeah). And what is easier and more East Coasty than stopping at a pretzel cart while you’re waiting in a big line to get into Betsy Ross’s house? (Maybe buying a bagel and lox at a nearby deli, but be patient, bagels will come later).

So I have many near and dear memories of chewy (but not too chewy!) soft pretzels, biting into their golden brown still warm “legs”… I’ve been trying to recreate that memory for years.

When we moved back to the West Coast Mom started buying frozen soft pretzels from Costco that we would reheat and top with salt. It was not the same. I have perused soft pretzel recipes on the internet looking for the way to recreate my memories and you know what?

I’m not even coming close!

Still there is some good eatin’ going on anyway and I relish the chase. What other choice do I have besides hopping a plane to Philly?

I used this recipe by Joy the Baker.

I mixed and rolled out my dough (bringing back memories of another kind-play-do anyone?).

Then I boiled and baked them.

They came out quite delicious, but rather tougher than I wanted. I think next time I boil them for 30 seconds on each side and hope that that will help the dough be a little less chewy as I tired out my jaw trying to eat a pretzel after they cooled. Please pardon the flash photography as it was late and I wanted to get a picture before the pretzels got eaten or turned soggy the next day (a hazard with pretzels).

Does anyone have a favorite soft pretzel recipe or any advice for me as I chase my dream pretzel?


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