Monday, June 2, 2008

Hot Soft Pretzels!

A group of us daring bakers have decided to go back to the beginning of the DB recipes and try to make them all. This group began in November of 2006 and the first project was this recipe.
Some of us are recent members so many of the "old" challenges are new to us. We made these twice this month, they were really good! I first made them by myself, and that's when I discovered that I was all out of A.P. and bread flour. I figured cake flour wasn't ideal, so I used a mix of whole wheat, buckwheat and cake flours. I really liked them. Later in the month during one of my and Robb's baking Tuesdays, we squeezed in another batch using A.P. flour. They were just as fabulous. It takes almost no time to mix up the dough, and it needs to sit only about an hour. Hot fresh bread, yum. Give them a try! You might even dip them in cinnamon sugar or sprinkle them with grated cheese. The whole wheat version froze and defrosted perfectly.

For the dough:

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 package (2-1/4 tsp.) instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (you may need a little more)

For the pretzel topping:

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  1. Combine all the dough ingredients in a large bowl with your hands. Work the ingredients together until you can form a ball. If the dough is very dry, add a bit more warm water until it comes together. The dough will look messy, but don’t worry about it.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and begin kneading by pushing the dough away with the heel of your hand, and then folding it back in onto itself. Push the dough away again and then fold back in. Continue this motion, working the dough until it’s smooth. This should take anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes. (Alternatively, you can knead the dough in a mixer with your dough hook for 5 to 6 minutes).
  3. Once the dough is done, sprinkle some flour on the dough and put it in a large, oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes to an hour. It will rise considerably.
  4. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and set aside.
  6. Divide your dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a long rope that’s roughly 24 inches in length. (Don’t make it too long or your pretzels will be too thin.)
  7. Taking hold of the ends of the rope, cross the rope over itself to form a circle with about 4 to 5 inches on each end that are sticking out. Twist the ends over themselves and secure each end on either side of the pretzel.
  8. Carefully dip the pretzel in the water and then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.
  9. Sprinkle the pretzels with the kosher salt and let them rest for about 15 minutes.
  10. Put the pretzels in the oven for 6 minutes, then rotate the trays and bake for an additional 6 minutes. Keep an eye on the pretzels so that they don’t burn.
  11. Remove the pretzels from the oven and immediately brush them with the butter. Keep brushing them with butter until you’ve used it all.
  12. Serve the pretzels warm with plenty of mustard or another condiment of your choice.
The whole wheat flour pretzels are a little darker,
and both were delicious.



Lori said...

Very professional looking pretzels! They are so good arent they?

April said...

They look delicious!

Sophie said...

You did a really great job on these. They're so cute! I could go for these right now, what a great portable snack :D.

Debyi said...

Your pretzels look so good! Oh, I'm gonna have to make these again.

Maxine said...

I made these pretzels and they were awesome!!! Thanks, guys!!!