Many people are already familiar with Alton Brown and his recipes. He has several shows on the Food Network (like hosting Iron Chef America and Good Eats), is an active blogger and on Twitter. He’s not your every day tv chef; he explains the science behind the methods, making him super cool.
I have a confession to make though. I love Good Eats, and watch it when ever I can. I follow Mr. Brown on Twitter and Facebook, I enjoy what he has to say. I have never, however, tried one of his recipes.
The time had come for me to change that. I’ve been having a craving for soft pretzels for a few weeks now and he retweeted a photo from a follower who had used his recipe to make pretzel balls. Since I’ve had very little luck finding a soft pretzel recipe that worked out to be, you know, SOFT, I figured why not give a new one a try.
The recipe itself is like any other bread recipe. The proportions are nice for a soft dough, and easy to make with your kitchen mixer. I saw no difference there between this and any other recipe I’ve tried, until the boiling step.
I’ve heard of this immersion method before, and have never tried it. I haven’t seen the Good Eats episode where Alton explains this, so I have no idea about what this does or why it works. Since it’s a new to me recipe, I followed the instructions.
Once the pretzels are formed, you dunk them in a pot of boiling water and baking soda for 30 seconds. Then brush with the requisite egg yolk and salt and bake.
Since this immersion method is the only thing different (aside from a proportion here and there) from other pretzel recipes I’ve tried, I can only conclude this is why they are amazing. And they are amazing. I’m going to have to change how I buy baking soda. Bulk only from now on, those little boxes of Arm & Hammer aren’t going to cut it.
I’ll be making a lot of these pretzels. A lot. I think I may make some more now. Especially since yesterday’s batch are all gone and I’m having a craving.