Shamrock Shaped Soft Pretzels

Happy Everyone Kiss Irish Today Day!

May your heart be light and happy,
May your smile be big and wide,
And may your pockets always have a coin or two inside.

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Yield: 8 pretzels

1 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dry yeast

4 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda

1 egg yolk +1 tbsp. water

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together water, yeast, flour, sugar, and salt.  Knead the dough until smooth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450F.

Turn dough out onto sprayed with cooing oil surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel or shamrock shape. Place onto the parchment-lined sheet pan.

In a large bowl, bring to boil 4 cups water carefully add 1/4 cup baking soda.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large spatula and return into sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt or sesame seeds.

Bake until dark golden brown in color, about 12 – 14 minutes.

1 pretzel is about 111 calories

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