Josie, our friends' daughter turned 3 this past weekend, I decided to make pretzels in the shape of a number 3.They turned out really cute and you could probably do other numbers as well.
I tried a different soft pretzel recipe - from Bobby Flay this time, usually I make them using a recipe from Alton Brown and since last year I've been making those, I'd say both are equally delicious. I like them plain, no mustard and all, but you could dress them as you wish.
Soft Pretzel Recipes
How to Make Pretzels in the shape of a Number 3
Make the dough according to the recipe you are using.
recipe from Bobby Flay made about 1100grams of dough(2.4pounds)
I used my kitchen scale to make some what equally big portions of dough, approximately 100gram(3.5ounce) each.
Roll the dough into about 30cm(12inch)rope
Cut in half
press together 2 ends and form a number 3 shape
Continue with the rest of the dough.
Prepare baking sheets according to the recipe instructions
Dipping Pretzels in Baking Soda Water Solution
When adding baking soda to boiling water don't add baking powder all at once, it will foam up at first.
To maintain the shape I decided to use a wide kitchen spatula to lift an unbaked pretzel and dip in the boiling solution, I left the spatula in the solution the whole time used it to lift the pretzel from the water solution once it reached 30 seconds(follow directions according to the recipe). Place the pretzels on the prepared baking sheet. You may need an extra spatula to help slide the pretzel off the large spatula you used to dip it.
Gently brush with the egg wash, I find that brushing too much of the egg wash make the pretzels taste funny once they are baked, sort of egg like if you know what I mean.
I like to use caraway seeds or sea salt to sprinkle on the top of unbaked pretzels.
Bake as directed.
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