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I know there are people who lose their mind when they get a whiff of McDonald’s fries, but my downfall is the buttery scent of a nearby Auntie Anne’s pretzel stand. Once it’s on my radar, I can’t help but march over and hand them all my money like some type of reverse mugging. Are we sure Auntie Anne’s isn’t really a military brainwashing research facility? Someone should look into this.
So of course when I spotted this copycat recipe on Pinterest, I just had to try it! Hubs mixed up the dough easy peasy, and I rolled and twisted them into little pretzels and sent them off into the oven. After lovingly brushing them with a bit of butter, we each took a bite and it was bliss. Soft and chewy, with the perfect hint of salt and butter. We were so busy stuffing our faces that we never got around to making the accompanying garlic cheese sauce, but that will definitely not be overlooked next time.
PS. Pretzel makers, is there a trick to rolling out the dough into thin ropes? I thought I did a good job, until our pretzels puffed up like fat pretzel rolls instead of looking like the super skinny ones at Auntie Anne’s. They’re delicious all the same, but just wondering!
The recipe from Yammie’s Noshery is as follows:
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels: Copycat Recipe
Makes 12, Adapted from Food Network
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons fine salt
1/3 cup baking soda
3 cups warm water
8 tablespoons butter, melted in a shallow dish
Warm up the milk in the microwave or on the stove for just about one and a half minutes. It should be about 110º. If it’s too hot it will kill the yeast. You should be able to comfortably keep your finger in it. Stir in the yeast and let it sit for about 3 minutes. Add the butter and sugar. Add the flour about 1 cup at a time and the add the fine salt. Kneed for about 10 minutes with a stand mixer, or by hand. Put it in a greased bowl and cover with greased cling wrap. Let rise for 1 hour in a moist, warm place until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450º. Punch down dough and divide into 12 lumps (I like to divide it in half, then divide each half into three, and then divide each remaining one in half again). Roll them all out as thin as you can. Combine the warm water and baking soda in a wide bowl. Form the dough into pretzel shapes, then dip in the baking soda water. Place on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for about 7-11 minutes or until browned.
Dip each in the melted butter while hot. Serve with cheese sauce.
For Garlic Cheese Sauce (A Yammie original):
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
a pinch cayenne pepper
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded (Not pre-shredded. Do it yourself.)
In a saucepan, combine the butter, flour, and garlic over medium heat. Whisk until lightly browned. Whisk in the milk, paprika, and cayenne pepper and continue whisking until thickened. Add the cheese and whisk until melted. Can be reheated in the microwave.