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Rustic Soft Pretzels



1. Place the warm water, yeast and half of the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or other large bowl.
Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, until frothy and foamy.
Add in the salt.
2. With the paddle attached, turn the mixer on low and add in the flour 1/2 cup at a time (or, stir vigorously with a wet wooden spoon if not using a mixer).
3. Once youve added the flour and the mixture has come together and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl, switch to the dough hook and knead on medium-low for 5 minutes.
Or you can turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for five minutes.
4. Place the dough in a bowl oiled with the teaspoon of olive oil, cover with a towel and let it sit for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
5. Once risen, preheat your oven to 450 F.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper then greasing it lightly with cooking spray.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces.
Take one piece of dough, dust very lightly with flour, then roll it out on your counter or a large cutting board into a long strip.
Its best to use two hands and start in the center, rolling the dough and moving your hands in opposite directions out onto the ends.
This helps keep the strip even, rather than being too heavy in the middle and thin on the ends.
Pick up the rolled out strip by both ends so it makes a large U.
Gently touch the bottom of the U shape down onto the greased parchment paper, then cross the left end over to the right side, and the right side over to the left side to make a pretzel shape.
Gently press down the ends to help it stick to the base of the pretzel.
Repeat with remaining 7 pieces of dough.
Let the pretzels rest for 15 minutes to rise.
6. Meanwhile, bring a shallow pot of water to a boil over high heat, then add in the baking soda and remaining half of the sugar.
Reduce the heat to low as soon as the 15 minutes of rise time is up.
Place four pretzels into the water and let them cook for 1 minute.
Flip them over using a slotted spoon or pancake turner and let the other side cook for one minute.
Use the slotted spoon to remove the pretzels from the water and place back onto the prepared baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining four pretzels.
7. Pour the garlic powder and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a shallow bowl.
One by one, dredge the poached pretzels through the oil so they are nice and coated.
Return to baking sheet.
Dust the oiled pretzels with paprika, oregano, and sea salt.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.
After 12 minutes, turn off the bake setting and turn the broiler on low.
Let the pretzels broil for 2 minutes.
Remove from oven and let the pretzels cool on a wire rack.
Serve warm.
Adapted from The White Ramekins (thewhiteramekins.