Mall pretzels that you can now enjoy in the comfort of your home for a fraction of the price with countless dipping sauce options, yes please! I found this recipe over at one of my favorite food blogs, Yammie’s Noshery. It’s such a great blog to follow, so if you’re not yet following I suggest you do it now =). She takes amazing photos, creates many of her own recipes and she has great taste in food. This recipe she posted is one example of her great taste in food. I mean, who doesn’t love a fresh, warm Auntie Anne’s pretzel? And with Yammie’s homemade garlic cheese sauce you’ve got a match made in heaven. Save a few for dessert and you can try them with a warm glaze, caramel or chocolate sauce for dunking. How ever you dunk them I recommend you eat them warm, they just aren’t the same cool. This Auntie Anne’s Pretzels copycat recipe is one you are going to want to try. You get a chewy yet fluffy, perfectly tender, beautifully golden brown pretzel that will have you savoring every last flavorful, salty little bite. Enjoy!
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
- 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
- 3 cups warm water
- coarse salt , to taste
- 6 Tbsp butter , melted
- Dipping sauce for serving , optional*
Warm milk in a microwave safe bowl in microwave (or alternately over stove top in a small saucepan) until temperature of milk reaches 110 degrees, about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes on HIGH power. Pour milk along with yeast into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and whisk together until yeast has dissolved, let rest 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, 4 tbsp softened butter, 1 cup flour and 2 tsp fine sea salt to milk mixture and using the whisk attachment, stir until blended. Switch attachment to a dough hook, add remaining 3 1/2 cups flour and kneaded mixture on medium low speed until elastic. Mix in up to an additional 1/2 cup flour, as needed, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper (alternately you could grease them). Punch dough down several times to release any air pockets. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces (the easiest way to do this is to divide the dough in half, then divide the halves into halves then those and into thirds). Cover divided dough loosely with plastic wrap (just to prevent a dry crust from forming on the outside) and roll each piece out into a long, thin rope about 32 – 36 inches long (I found working on a non-floured to very very lightly floured surface worked best, I began with a lightly floured surface and realized it was much harder to get more stretch, plus it was much faster to roll them out when working on a less-no flour surface). Form dough rope into a pretzel shape.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together baking soda and warm water then fully immerse pretzel into water mixture and allow excess water to drip off (I ended up shaping most of them into the pretzel shape once placing on the cookie sheet rather then doing it twice, I would just fold the rope into halves several times then immerse in water mixture then shape them on cookie sheet). Place on prepared baking sheet, reshape as needed and sprinkle to taste with coarse salt. Repeat this process with remaining dough. Bake pretzels in preheated oven 7 – 11 minutes until golden brown (note that you will likely only be able to cook 6 at a time among the two baking sheets) Remove from oven and brush top and bottom of pretzels with melted butter. Serve warm with optional dipping sauce. Reheat in microwave or in a warm oven once they’ve cooled, if desired.
*Dipping sauces I would recommend are Yammie’s amazing garlic cheese sauce (click here for the recipe), marinara sauce, or honey mustard. For a sweeter option, try with a warm homemade doughnut glaze, caramel sauce or chocolate sauce. Alternately if you want another dessert option, skip the coarse salt step of the recipe and sprinkle instead with lots of cinnamon sugar.