El Jefe Soft Pretzels


1 cup milk

5 tbl unsalted butter, divided (2 tbl for the dough; 3 tbl for brushing on the finished pretzels)

3 tbl light brown sugar, packed

1 package (2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp El Jefe Garlic Habanero craft salt

1/4 cup baking soda


Warm the milk and butter in the microwave until the butter is just melted, about 90 seconds.

Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved.

In a mixer bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of flour, yeast, and salt.

Mix on low speed until, about 1 minute.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the warm milk mixture to the bowl. When the dough forms a cohesive mass, remove and knead, adding more flour as needed, until the dough is smooth but still slightly tacky.

Shape the dough into a ball, place in a clean, lightly greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, silicon baking mat, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a shallow baking dish, combine the baking soda with 2 1/4 cups warm water. Stir until the baking soda is dissolved and set aside.

Poke the dough to deflate it, then turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.

Shape the dough into a log, then cut into 6 equal pieces

Cover with a damp dishtowel so the dough doesn't dry out. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a roughly 24-inch "rope".

Using two hands, gently dip each "rope" into the soda solution. Let any excess liquid drip off, then form the dough into a pretzel shape directly on the prepared baking sheet form a U-shape, then holding the ends of the rope, cross them over and under each other, making a twist in the center, and press the ends onto the bottom of the pretzel.

Sprinkle evenly with El Jefe Garlic Habanero craft salt.

Bake until golden, 8 to 12 minutes.

Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and brush on the baked pretzels.

Serve them up and enjoy!

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