I started making homemade pretzels about a year ago and they’re a huge hit with my family and friends. Well, one of my coworkers saw the recipe a while back and has been harassing me to make them for the office ever since… but there’s a problem. My normal pretzel recipe makes 12 pretzels, there are 40 people in my company. I love my coworkers, but the last thing I feel like doing is spending an entire day making four batches of pretzels! Our first office meeting of the year is coming up, and I decided I was finally going to make them for everybody, but I desperately needed a smaller alternative. I made the dough, let it rise and turned it out onto the counter, still without having the first clue on how I was going to take a batch that makes 12 and turn it into 40… then it dawned on me.
Genius! Everyone can have one and I don’t have to spent a full day making them.
So here is my recipe for Homemade Pretzel Knots. They are absolutely perfect for a party!
Makes 36-48 knots.
4 1/2tsp Active Dry Yeast (2 envelopes)
1tsp Granulated Sugar (for yeast)
1 3/4c Warm Water (105-110F)
4 1/2c All Purpose Flour, plus more for kneading
1/2c Granulated Sugar (for dough)
2tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted (for dough)
1tbsp Olive Oil
1/2c Baking Soda
4tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted (for baking)
Toppings of preference
In a small bowl combine the yeast, 1tsp of sugar and warm water. Let stand until the water becomes creamy and you get a nice bloom on the top, approximately 15 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl combine your flour, 1/2c sugar and salt. Add the yeast mixture and start mixing on low speed. Once the dough begins to form slowly add 2tbsp of melted butter and increase the speed to medium. Continue mixing until the dough forms a ball around the dough hook.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 7 minutes, it should have a smooth elastic texture. Lightly oil a large bowl with 1tbsp of olive oil, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat entirely with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and set in a warm, draft free, place until the dough doubles in size, approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. I typically set my oven to 350F and place the bowl with my dough on the stovetop to promote rising, the stove gets warm but not hot. This may work for some people, for others it may not, it depends on your oven/stove.
Heat your oven to 375F.
In a large sauce pot bring water to a simmer and add 1/2c of baking soda, allow to dissolve.
Turn out your risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. You don’t have to knead it again, just lightly punch it down with your fingers to remove some of the air. Using a knife divide the dough into however many knots you would like to make. Use your hands to roll each piece into a short rope (3-4″), then simply knot them. In small batches place the knots into the simmering water/baking soda and allow to cook for 10 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon and place on greased baking sheets, leaving at least a half inch between them. Brush the top of the knots with melted butter and sprinkle with the seasonings of your choice. I made three different types: Sea Salt, Parmesan & Garlic, and Sriracha (A good friend gave us a Sriracha flake grinder… I never knew such a thing as Sriracha flakes existed!). Put whatever you want on them, go crazy! My wife even mentioned that they would have been delicious with some cinnamon and sugar… Hmmmm, that’s a thought.
Bake the knots in the oven for 11-14 minutes, until the tops are nicely browned.