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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Soft Pretzels


Makes 8 pretzels

1 1/2 cup warm water
1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup bread flour
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the bath:
2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons baking soda

1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water (optional)
Coarse pretzel salt

In the bowl of your mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar and let sit for five minutes or until foamy. Add in the flours and mix with the paddle on low speed until everything is incorporated. Let sit for five minutes, add the salt, and mix. Switch to the dough hook and mix on low until the dough is smooth and tacky. Place in a clean greased bowl, cover, and let rise for about 30 minutes to an hour or until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Prepare two sheet pans with parchment paper sprayed generously with cooking spray or silicone baking mats.

Prepare the baking soda water bath by mixing the two in a large container. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll/stretch each piece into a rope that is 1/2 inch thick or less and at least 24 inches long. Shape into a pretzel shape by creating a U with the rope, bringing the ends down into an X (that meet up with the bottom of the U, and then crossing the ends so they twist in the middle of the pretzel. Lightly press anywhere the dough touches itself. Dip into the bath and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Let rise for about 15 minutes, brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately or at room temperature the same day they're baked (don't put in a bag).

To store any leftover pretzels (highly discouraged), you can keep them in a bag and then reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes until crispy on the outside.

Recipe from Copycat Recipes Cookbook

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