PretzelsNovember 7, 2007 at 10:36 pm | Posted in Breads | 5 Comments
This is the recipe that started it all for the Daring Bakers. I finally decided to join the amazing group of bakers this month and when I saw these I thought to myself … I love prezels, I feel like baking, I have everything I need … and the rest, as they say was history. I ended up making three batches. No I’m not referring to the three types of toppings, I’m referring to the number of times I made these last weekend.
The first time I made them I went for the traditional pretzel look. They left a lot to be desired. My pretzels weren’t exactly pretty and because they were more like pretzel shaped buns when i was done the toppings “didn’t distribute evenly enough” according to Greg aka he wanted more toppings all over. Don’t get me wrong, we still ate them, but it was time to make a second batch.
Batch number two I decided that instead of trying to perfect my prezel shapes I was just going to prezel sticks which ended up being more like bread sticks, but whatever they were delicious. As soon as I was done and they started to dissappear courtesy of my wonderful husband I was informed that I needed to make more. We were going to a friends place to watch the Pats vs Colts game and he thought they would be delightful with beer. So … it was onto batch three.
I decided to send some of them to my BGEX pick so I put a few aside for her in ziploc baggies and put the handful of uneaten batch two in another set of ziploc baggies. I figured I would bring batch three with me and possibly add more depending on which ones were most loved. I also wanted to see how many people would eat because 9 of these plus a bunch of snickerdoodles seemed like a lot and I didn’t want them to go bad before they were eaten. In the end Dawn got 9 for two reasons. My baggies of extra batch two pretzels were left on the stove and … who knew … plastic melts oops Pretzels meet trash, trash meet pretzels. And then batch three, that I brought to our friends place well lets just say that everyone liked them.
Now on to the recipe … I made a few changes because, well because I can and it’s not this months challenge
Adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion.
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
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- whatever toppings you like … I used cinnamon sugar, kosher salt and a garlic and herb mix I have
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 450 degrees F worked for me and I used one baking sheet. I had to make two batches, but I only had one clean baking sheet so I went with it. I also just greased the pan.
- Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and set aside.
- 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.) I just cut slices off the dough ball and made each stick about 4 inches long I also skipped the nest two steps because I went with sticks
- 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.
- Carefully dip the pretzel in the water and then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.
- Sprinkle the pretzels with the kosher salt and let them rest for about 15 minutes. I skipped the salt part because I didn’t want salt on all of them
- 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. Mine only took about 5 or 6 minutes total, but my oven is weird
- Remove the pretzels from the oven and immediately brush them with the butter. Keep brushing them with butter until you’ve used it all.
- Add your toppings