You can take the girl outta Philly, but you can’t take the Philly outta the girl. And so, today I bring you homemade soft pretzels.
But these aren’t just any soft pretzels. And yes, we’re going to cover them in cinnamon sugar or icing (or both!), but that isn’t even the best part! Baked right into the dough of these pretzels is everyone’s favorite fall ingredient. Can you guess what it is?
That’s right. Pumpkin spice!!
Pumpkin Spice Soft Pretzels
for the pretzel dough (makes 8 pretzels):
1 1/2 c water
2 tsp fine sea salt
2 T honey
1 scant T active dry yeast
4 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 T pumpkin pie spice (I like McCormick’s, or you can make your own)
4 T unsalted butter
2 tsp vegetable oil
8 c water
1/2 c baking soda
for the egg wash:
1 large egg yolk
1 T milk
for the sugar topping (enough for at least 4 pretzels):
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 c coconut oil (or butter)
for the icing (enough for at least 4 pretzels):
1/2 c powdered sugar
2 1/2 tsp milk
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine 1 1/2 cups water, honey, and salt. Stir until the honey has dissolved and the water is warm (not hot) to the touch. Then turn off the heat and sprinkle the yeast over the water mixture. Allow to stand about 5 to 7 minutes until foamy.
While waiting for the yeast to foam, combine the flour and pumpkin pie spice is a small bowl and mix well. Set aside. Then melt the butter.
Once foamy, pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. With the mixer running on low speed, add the melted butter then slowly add the flour and mix just until combined. Then turn the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it’s smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Pour the vegetable oil into a clean bowl and rub it all around the inside of the bowl using a paper towel. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel dampened with warm water. Allow the dough to rise for about 1 hour, until it’s doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, it’s time to shape the pretzels! Place the dough on a well floured surface and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a rope about 20 inches long. Form a U-shape with the rope, then cross one end of the dough over the other. Cross the ends once more to form a twist. Then fold the ends back towards the center of the U-shape to create the pretzel shape, pressing the ends into the base of the pretzel. Place the shaped dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
In a large pot, pour the 8 cups of water and the baking soda. Bring the water to a rolling boil and then immediately turn it down to medium low heat.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then, working one at a time, drop each pretzel into the boiling water for 30 seconds each. Remove from the water using a roux whisk or strainer and return to the baking sheet.
To make the egg wash, beat the egg yolk and milk in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash over the top of each pretzel.
Bake approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until dark golden brown. Let pretzels cool for 2 minutes on tray before transferring to a baking rack. (Note: You’ll want to lay paper towels under your cooling rack for decorating the pretzels.)
To coat pretzels with sugar, mix sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon on a plate. Melt coconut oil and put on a second plate. Place pretzels, 1 at a time, on plate with coconut oil and coat entire pretzel. Return to cooling rack for 2 minutes to let coconut oil soak in. You can blot extra oil off of the pretzels if necessary. They should have a good sheen but not be dripping in oil. Then, 1 at a time, place pretzels onto plate with sugar mixture and coat.
To ice pretzels, stir together powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl. Drizzle icing over pretzels using a spoon.
Eat immediately. (Pretzels will absorb the sugar or icing and become soggy over time.) Alternatively, you can store the undecorated pretzels for up to 3 days and sugar or ice them just before eating.
Pretzel dough recipe adapted from A Cozy Kitchen.