Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels (vegan)
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- 2 1/2 cups bread flour (all-purpose may be substituted, pretzels won't be as chewy)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (one one-ounce packet) instant dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- scant 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
- 1 cup warm water (120-130f for red star platinum, 95 to 105 for other yeast)
- 1/4 cup butter or vegan butter, melted and divided use
- kosher or coarse salt, for sprinkling
1To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, yeast, sugar, optional 1/4 teaspoon salt and turn mixer on and beat for couple sends to mix dry ingredients. Pour the water over the top (Based on the type of yeast used, temperatures will vary. Red Star Platinum yeast calls for warmer temperatures than most, 120 to 130F; other brands and yeast call for much lower temperatures, about 95 to 105F. Warm water according to the yeast manufacturer's recommendations on the packaging. Taking the temperature with a digital thermometer is recommended, but if you're not, make sure the water is warm, not hot. Err on the cooler rather than hotter side so you don't kill the yeast.) Beat the mixture on medium-low speed for about 1 minute, or until combined.
Switch to the dough hook and knead dough for about 5 minutes. It will be firm, smooth, not sticky, and elastic. (If making bread by hand, mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl by hand, then turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes)
After five minutes, remove the dough from the mixing bowl, spray mixing bowl or another bowl with cooking spray, and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a piece of plasticwrap and place it in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 30 minutes. (I’ve let this dough rise for as long as 90 minutes due to distractions, poor planning, and timing issues, and nothing bad happens. Actually, the pretzels turn out fluffier. If you want to allow it to rise for up to about 90 minutes, or doubled in size, that's fine. But the recipe does and will work with just a 30 minute rise) In the final moments of rising, preheat oven to 425F and line two baking trays with Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mats or parchment paper; set aside.
After 30 minutes (or longer), punch dough down and place it on a floured work surface. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, divide it into six equal pieces.
2Using your hands, roll each piece into a long rope, about 15 to 18-inches long. The skinnier you roll the ropes, the less chubby the finished pretzels will be. Make a pretzel shape with the rope. Grab the ends and pretend you’re making a heart-shape with it. Lay ends on the opposite side and allow them to drape loosely; optionally twist the center of the pretzel like a twist-tie so there's a twist in the pretzel or shape them as desired. Transfer pretzels to two Silpat-lined baking trays, three per tray.
Melt the butter in the microwave, about 1 minute (use unsalted or salted, regular or vegan, based on preference) and brush half of it onto the pretzels. Save the other half for after baking. Bake at 425F for about ten minutes, rotating trays once if your oven bakes unevenly (This is buttery, soft, white, fluffy dough and it burns easily so keep an eye on it and I don’t even leave the kitchen). For golden brown tops, turn the broiler on and broil one tray at a time for about 90 seconds each, or as desired. A matter of seconds can make the difference in golden and burnt, so broil at your own risk and with a very watchful eye. I bake for 10 minutes and broil for just shy of 2 minutes based on my oven and preferences.
Baste pretzels with the remaining butter. Sprinkle with Kosher or coarse salt (or any of the basting, sprinkling or dipping options above) and serve immediately. Pretzels are best eaten fresh and warm, but will keep for up to 2 days in a ziptop plastic bag or airtight container.