Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Soft Pretzels

I've been meaning to both try to bake with yeast and use the dough hook on my new stand mixer, so when I saw the recipe for Alton Brown's Soft Pretzels on Le Petit Pierogi I knew I had to give them a shot. I only made a couple of minor changes from the original recipe (the changes are what are in the recipe below). First, I used instant yeast instead of active dry. Second, I subbed about 7 ounces of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour. Lastly, I made a few of the pretzels with cinnamon sugar instead of the salt (inspired by Le Petit Pierogi).

These turned out really well, I was pleasantly surprised. Next time I would make sure I had a whole lot more room to work, as these take up a lot of room when trying to get them into the long ropes. Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing and will definitely be making these again.

Soft Pretzels
  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespooon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 15 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 7 ounces whole wheat flour
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • vegetable oil, for bowl
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • coarse sea salt for topping
  • cinnamon sugar for topping

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the water and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the dough into a bowl coated inside with vegetable oil, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt or cinnamon sugar. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

Kristen616 said...

Yay I'm so glad you loved them!!! Yours came out SO pretty!!! Now I want to make them again, haha!