Remember back on March 19, when the moon was the largest it has been in almost two decades?
Well, here in the Starbott household, there were big science-y things going on too. Nothing cosmic, but definitely some chemistry.
Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels
2 cups warm water (100°F to 110°F)
1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
5-6 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1 large egg
Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
Mix the warm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let the mixture sit until it becomes foamy (about 10 minutes).
Add the first cup of flour and mix, on low, until combined. Add 4 more cups of flour, plus the salt, and mix until combined. Beat on medium-low until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add another 1/2 cup of flour and mix on low for 1 minute. If the dough is still sticky, add the last 1/2 cup of flour and mix to combine.
Knead the dough a few times on a lightly floured surface until it forms a smooth ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm spot until double in size (about 1 hour).
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment.
Retrieve the pretzel dough, knead it once or twice to eliminate bubbles and then divide the ball into 16 equal pieces.
Roll each piece into a strip about 18 inches long, twist it into a pretzel shape and place it on one of the prepared baking sheets. Make sure to leave plenty of room between pretzels. Cover loosely and let rise for about 15 minutes.
While the pretzels are proofing, fill a large pot with 2 inches of water and bring it to a boil. Add the baking soda and 2 tablespoons of sugar, and watch it foam up! Reduce the temperature, as needed, to maintain a simmer.
Poach the pretzels, 3-4 at a time, for 1 minute on each side. Use a slotted spoon to move the pretzels back to the baking sheet. Continue until all of the pretzels are poached.
In a small bowl, beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Lightly brush the tops of the poached pretzels with egg wash. Bake until golden (about 12-15 minutes).
Meanwhile, prepare the cinnamon sugar topping. Melt the butter in a small bowl, just large enough to fit a single pretzel. In another small bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar.
Once the baked pretzels are cool enough to handle, dip the top of each one into the melted butter followed by the cinnamon sugar mixture.
From here, you can either return the finished pretzels to the cooling rack or head straight for your mouth.
Best eaten right away, or at least that day.
Source: A sweet twist (pun most definitely intended) on this Martha Stewart recipe, via Smitten Kitchen.