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Countdown to 2011: Sweet 2011 Pretzels

Lately my kid has been begging to remake the Soft Pretzel Recipe [1] we posted a while back. We’ve been talking about all the shapes we could try. After writing down lots of possibilities, we decided it would make for a really fun New Years recipe.

Doing this together sparked a discussion about the calendar and how it changes on January 1st. It’s amazing how the tactile nature of the project solidified the concept in my kid’s mind. He’s been talking about the change from 2010 to 2011 ever since.

We made these out of traditional pretzel dough but decided to skip the salt and instead dip them in butter and cover them with cinnamon and sugar. They tasted sort of like a pretzel version of a beignet. What a great way to bring in the new year! Now for the recipe…

New Years Eve Pretzel Recipe

Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours (mostly unattended)  Cooking time: 20 mins

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup of granulated sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into ropes and form the numbers 2 0 1 1. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Dip each pretzel in melted butter and then in cinnamon sugar. Eat and enjoy. Serves a crowd!


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[1] Soft Pretzel Recipe: https://cookingwithmykid.com/recipes/soft-pretzels/

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