Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Recipe for Pretzel Class (and just to eat): Soft Pretzels

These are definitely worth the trouble to make now and then, regardless of the pretzel class. Larger pretzels are generally prettier. The smaller ones made in the class tend to end up thicker, and sometimes will be doughy in the middle. Make an open pretzel shape, since the dough will puff when it boils.

2 1/8 cups room-temperature water
1 Tbs salt
3 cups Bread Flour
2 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 Tbs sugar
2 tsp non-diastatic malt powder or sugar
1 Tbs active dry yeast or 2 teaspoons instant yeast

pretzel salt

1. In a bread machine, add ingredients in the order listed. Run on "dough" cycle, adjusting water/flour during kneading to make a soft but not sticky dough.

If making for pretzel class, pull the dough out of the machine when it finishes kneading and enters the "rise" cycle. Place the dough into a large, greased bowl. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Keep in a warm place until you leave for class.

2. Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a log, and shape the logs into pretzels. The picture indicates a 15" rope, which is appropriate for making this a 32-pretzel recipe. Longer is better for making 16 large pretzels.

3. In a large pot, boil together 6 cups of water and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Put 4 pretzels at a time into the boiling water, and cook for 1 minute. Transfer boiled pretzels to a lightly greased baking rack. Sprinkle with salt or seeds while still wet. Add more water if too much boils off before all the pretzels have boiled. Boiling makes the dough rise quickly, and changes the proteins on the surface. The surface becomes shiny and sticky, and has a different chew and flavor. The stickiness will diminish as it dries, so don't forget to salt right away.
4. When all the pretzels have been cooked, bake in a preheated 450°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the pretzels are well-browned. Yield: 16 soft, chewy pretzels.

Yield: 16 or 32

Serving Tips

Dip in melted Cheese Wiz, or mustard.

These old-fashioned "Philadelphia-style" pretzels are similar to bagels -- smooth and shiny on the outside, chewy within.

Recipe Source

Based on King Arthur Flour's pretzel recipe

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