Monday, June 4, 2012

Pretzels- Auntie Anne's copycat

I found it! The Auntie Anne's pretzel recipe!
 Here it is, under the name almost famous...almost? Really? Auntie anne, that's OK, I think you have arrived!

Finding THE recipe, OK, I get it...not any big achievement on my was right there... but seriously,  a great find nonetheless! Considering two fake "Auntie anne's recipe", 2 batches of flat unpleasing crumbly doughy mess, looking nothing like and nowhere close taste of pitiful pretzels. Hope that made sense!

These days I'm big into cooking up replicates of all 'to-die for' eats from all over town. After Chipotle's cilantro lime rice,  Panera's broccoli cheddar soup, roasted tomato soup, now this and next is Artichoke Fonduta from Bertucci's which I cant get to fast enough (keep following!).

My two little M& M's, loosely put...thing 1 and thing 2,  have always been a big big fan of Auntie Anne's ever since the one time that I slipped off from my "no deva, that's not good for your bodies, let's keep walking"  phase. What was I thinking??

In the past I have also de-toured and switched from my usual  parking garage to avoid a meltdown near Auntie Anne's...basically the entire ground floor.  Few years ago though, our favourite mall has put up an addition of a little stall right in food Court as well. Is she reading my mind?

I think thought I was the last person in my family who would give in to unhealthy indulgences...shamefully I surprise myself! Roughly describing me, I think I'm turning to a person who sometimes would make do with soups and salads ( giddily happy that I nourished everybody today) for dinner and in the midst of relaxing and unwinding gets a sudden urge to bake after midnight.  Last night's evil side of me is quite pleased with the outcome! A  chewy warm, fresh out of my oven ball of dough won me over!
 I give up, Auntie win! Today, the mommy who hated disliked bringing my kids to you is selfishly bringing you home. Auntie Anne, score 1, Mommy: big Zero.


Picture tutorials coming soon!

Changes made by me are highlighted in red.


For the Pretzels:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package active dry yest
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading ( I did not need any flour for kneading)
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing ( I did not need extra for greasing as well since I used parchment paper that I strongly suggest)
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt ( omit)

For the Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar


Make the dough:

Warm the milk in a saucepan ( Microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, warm not hot) until it's about 110 degrees; pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes (10 minutes for me, I like to continue with the assurance that my yeast is working so I stall till I see a thick froth like the one you make for filter coffee); stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon ( kitchen-aid mixer, I love you!). Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften; stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour. ( Inside unheated oven)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large baking sheet ( Parchment, a baker should always have a roll on hand). Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. (If the dough seems tight, cover and let rest until it relaxes.) Divide the dough into 6 pieces (12 for me...I don't want kids to have sugar rush). Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.

 In a separate bowl dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt. (Skip salt if you are making cinnamon sugar kind). Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Mine took exact 8 minutes.

Prepare the sauce: Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, brown sugar and vinegar in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish. Dip the hot pretzels in the butter, turning to coat; place on a wire rack to let excess butter drip off. Serve the pretzels warm with the sweet mustard sauce.

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