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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Homemade Soft Pretzels

On parchment paper before going into boiling water



Salted... no very good with the sprinkling! I don't even have Elle to blame on this.. that was me...

I got this recipe out of a magazine- Grit Country Skills Series- Guide to Homemade bread.

1 1/2 Cups warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon Sugar
3 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon salt
1 egg
Coarse or Kosher salt

Water bath consists of: about a gallon of water and 1 Tablespoon Baking soda

1. In large bowl, combine warm water, yeast and sugar; let sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
2. In separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Add to yeast mixture and mix until it comes together. Use your hands to combine into a ball. On lighly floured work surface, knead dough for a few minutes until a smooth, sticky dough forms.
3. Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for about 45 minutes.
4. On lightly floured work surface, divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each peice into a long rope, 18-20 inches long. (Don't over flour your hands or work surface as this will make the pieces more difficult to roll.) Twist each peice into a pretzell shape by placing the arc of the pretzel at the bottom (closest to you). Round the two ends so they're facing the arc and twist them around;"paste" them to opposite sides of the arc, using a little water, if necessary. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
5. Prepare water bath. (don't forget the baking soda!) Once boiling, use slotted spatula to trasnfer each pretzel into water and boil for 3 minutes (I did 4 at a time), flipping once halfway through. Drain on a cooling rack and transfer parboiled pretzels back to parchment-lined baking sheet.
6. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush egg wash (beat one egg with 1 tablespoon water) generously over each pretzel and sprinkle with coarse or kosher salt.
7. Bake for 25 minutes.

They are yummy! No quite Aunt Annies (my favorite kind!) or Weltzels but then again, they are not coated in butter (although you could), don't cost $5 each and you know exactly what is in them. I think I am going to try and add raisins and cinnamon to the dough next time I try them... and maybe make 10 instead of 8 with the dough so they are a little thinner. It was a fun one for Elle to help with- watching the yeast grow and get bubbly, working the dough, rolling them out, shapeing the pretzels and painting the egg wash on them.

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