Soft pretzels were one of the first things I tried out when I discovered my urge for baking, and I quickly realized that homemade pretzels put even Auntie Anne's to shame. And those suckers are good. Throughout the years, we've stuffed pretzel bites with everything from ham and cheese to pepperoni and mozzarella. We've dipped them in all sorts of mustards and covered them in just about every topping from the spice cabinet.
So when I overheard someone mention pumpkin pretzels, there was no question that I'd be making them. Soon. I googled a recipe and came up with this one, from Carrie's Cooking that looked delish. They're different but definitely good. And though tempting, resist the urge to cover these in cinnamon and sugar instead of salt. The salt sounds weird but really brings it together.
The only real change I made was to boil them in the baking soda water, which I've done with every other pretzel I've ever made. I think this is the magic trick to making a crispy pretzel crust with a soft chewy inside, but Carrie left it out of her method and was happy with the results, so you do whatever your heart desires.
Pumpkin Soft Pretzels
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
2/3 cup baking soda
10 cups water
1 egg, beaten
course salt, to taste
Measure all ingredients (except egg and course salt) into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle or dough hook. Mix on medium speed until a soft dough is formed.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and place in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour).
Punch the dough down and divide into 4 equal pieces, rolling each into a rope.
Form into a pretzel shape, or cut into small chunks for pretzel bites.
Preheat oven to 450 and bring baking soda and water to boil in a large stockpot.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 or 2 at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove from the water and place on the baking sheet. Once all the pretzels have been boiled, brush the tops with the beaten egg and sprinkle with salt.
Bake in the preheated oven until dark brown, about 12-15 minutes, and allow to cool before serving.
Source: Adapted from Carrie's Cooking