Well, they are exactly like the real thing. My daughter said they were great (she ate two) and my husband agrees they taste exactly like Auntie Anne's. We are going to be making these a lot. Tonight we tried the original salt pretzel, a pretzel dog, and a jalapeno and cheese pretzel.
The recipe makes 6 pretzels. So if you or your family members are addicted to eating these pretzels when you are at the mall, here you go....
ALMOST-FAMOUS SOFT PRETZELS:
1 cup milk - I used 2%
1 pacakage active dry yeast
3 tablespons packed light brown sugar
2-1/4 cups a/p flour, plus more for kneading
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 teaspoon fine salt (I used regular tablesalt)
1/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons coarse salt (I used kosher salt)
FOR THE SAUCE: - MIX TOGETHER-
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup dijon mustard
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
To make the pretzels: warm the milk in a saucepan until it's about 110 (I use a candy thermometer); pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. lLet the yeast soften about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon. Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften; stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 -1/4 cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead (with hands), adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot (oven) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 and grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a floured surface. I recommend letting the dough rest (covered for at least 30 mins). Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.
Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt. (This got a little messy- I used my hands and sprinkled the soda solution on both sides of the pretzel) Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Prepare the sauce and refrigerate.
Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish. Dip the hot pretzels in the butter, turning to coat; place on a wire rack to let excess butter drip off. Serve the pretzels warm with the sweet mustard sauce.
You really have to try these pretzels. You can even make pretzel bites and your own cheese or pizza sauces. Have fun experimenting!!