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How to make the ‘perfect’ knotted dough treats

Soft pretzelsRegardless of a mall’s location, you can expect to see an Auntie Anne’s tucked away in a corner there. Auntie Anne’s has been gracing malls all across the U.S. since 1988.

Auntie Anne’s customers have stated that the twisty treats are, “better than the best you’ve ever tasted.”

This step-by-step recipe for the “perfect pretzel” might just rival it. We’ll let you be the judge.

DIRECTIONS: In a large, non-reactive bowl, heat the milk in the microwave until luke- warm—about 110 degrees. Add the yeast, stir and let it activate, about three minutes. Next, add the confectioners’ sugar and four tablespoons of the butter and stir to combine.

Sift together the salt, bread flour and all-purpose flour. Add this to the yeast mixture, and knead for about 8-10 minutes, using either the hook attachment of a stand mixer or your hands.

Add the dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, moist environment until doubles in size, about an hour.

After the dough has risen, divide it into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion out into a long, thin rope, as thin as your fingers.

To form the pretzel, start by making the rope a “U.” Cross the ends of the rope and twist to make a large circle (about as large as you want your pretzel to be). Take the ends and fold down into the circle, and seal the ends into the bottom to form a pretzel.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Dissolve the baking soda into the two cups very hot water, and oil two baking sheets.

Take each pretzel and dip it into the baking soda-water bath and then place them seam side down onto the oiled baking sheets, about six pretzels to each sheet. Sprinkle each pretzel with coarse sea salt and bake in the oven until golden brown and puffy, about 10 minutes.

Rotate the pan 180 degrees halfway through the baking.

While the pretzels are baking, melt the last four tablespoons of butter. Add a pinch of the confectioners’ sugar to the butter and stir.

Dip the salted side of each pretzel into the butter when they’re done baking and serve.

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 1/2 cups milk

• 1 package dry active yeast

• 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus a pinch or two more

• 8 tablespoons butter, melted and divided

• 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

• 1 1/2 cups bread flour

• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 cups very hot water

• 2 tablespoons baking soda

• Nonstick spray

• Coarse sea salt

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