Home-made Pretzels: Cinnamon and Choc Chip varieties

The inspiration for making pretzels came from the oddest of places. I was reading the beautiful story of a young kid called Anthony Smith. He suffers from Mosaic trisomy 22 and as such has no hearing in his left ear, and only minimal hearing in his right. At 4 years of age, he refused to wear his hearing device, a blue ear, because superheroes didn't have to.

His mother contacted Marvel comics asking for help. Not only did they reply, they sent Anthony comics of Hawkeye from the 80s when he lost his hearing and had to wear a hearing aid. They then sent him a drawing of a superhero they created just for him, called Blue Ear, who uses a listening device to hear trouble. Amazing. He took the pictures to school and his school threw a superhero week for him. Anthony now uses his Blue Ear and is improving rapidly in school with its use.

I loved the story so much I started looking for videos. In one, there were a few feel-good shots of Anthony and his mother were making pretzels together. They looked so delicious instantly I had the overwhelming urge to go make some.

I'm a little weird like that.


Every Friday when I meet my boyfriend at Melbourne Central Station before the football, I'm greeted by the smell of freshly baked pretzels from the shop adjacent the entrance. I'm always tempted, but never buy one under my, "I could make that myself" philosophy. I'm a bit of a DIY fiend. If I can make it, I'm not going to pay someone else to do it. Inevitably, I usually end up not remembering to do it by the time I get home, so it was high time I gave these a go. 

They're so simple to make, and so addictive straight from the oven. I decided to have a bit of fun and tweaked a basic recipe. For the first, I sprinkled the dough with cinnamon sugar before baking. 

The insides were left plain for these guys. 

For the other half of the batch, I sprinkled half of these with sea salt and the other half with caster sugar. Once baked, I drizzled a little dark chocolate over them. Both versions were nice, though I think I liked the salted variety better.

This half of the dough has dark chocolate chips kneaded through, making them especially delicious right out of the oven with their tiny pockets of melted chocolate. 

Whichever way you decide to bake these, they're bound to disappear quickly. 

Home-made Pretzels

Ingredients

14g dry yeast (2 sachets)
1 tsp white sugar
1 1/2 cups of warm (NOT hot or boiling) water
5 cups (625g) plain (all purpose) flour 
1/2 cup (110g) white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 cup baking soda
2 cups hot water
chocolate chips and chocolate for melting, if desired
Desired topping (sea salt, cinnamon sugar, caster sugar, garlic salt, etc)

Method

  1. Proof your yeast by combining it with the 1 tsp of white sugar and warm water in a bowl and let stand until frothy (5-10 minutes). If yeast does not foam, it means the yeast has died, so begin again with a new batch (if you are having continued problems proofing your yeast, ensure it has not passed its expiration date or that your water is too hot). 
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup of sugar and salt; make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture and oil. Gradually mix the flour into the wet ingredients until well combined. If mixture is dry, add extra tepid water a little at a time until flour is completely incorporated. 
  3. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, then divide into two portions (if making the different varieties). Knead one half for a further 3-5 minutes, until smooth. Repeat for the other half, working in desired amount of chocolate chips as you go. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour). 
  4. Preheat oven to 230°C (210°C fan forced/450°F). In a medium bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
  5. Divide each half of the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Dip into the baking soda solution and place on a greased or lined baking tray. Sprinkle with desired topping. 
  6. Bake for 8 minutes until browned. Drizzle melted chocolate onto the choc-chip variety if desired. 

You'll find the printable version of this recipe here.

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5 thoughts on “Home-made Pretzels: Cinnamon and Choc Chip varieties

  1. I love the story behind why you ended up making these. And I love that you refuse to buy food that you can make yourself. Nice money-saving there. 😉

  2. Hi there! I happened to stumble onto your journal from the LJ on Facebook page and I like what I see! I’ve recently gotten into cooking for myself more often and I’m on the lookout for some good recipes. Hot pretzels are awesome and I downloaded the printable version to save for later. Thanks!

    If I can make it, I’m not going to pay someone else to do it.

    This is my philosophy. It may take some trial and error to get the home recipes to taste the way you want, but at least it’s healthier and cheaper to make it yourself.

    Your pictures look great!

    • Thanks so much for popping by and leaving such a lovely comment. ♥ Definitely agree regarding making them at home – you make great points about it being cheaper and healthier.

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