5 Jul 2007
In a previous post I claimed to know a thing or two about pretzel baking… I guess it’s time to deliver the proof:
Here is my recipe:
- 500g (1.1lb) bread flour (I use all purpose when I’m out of bread flour)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 350ml(1 1/2 cups) warm milk
- 40g (1/3 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 pkg. yeast
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt and yeast) with a stand mixer on low.
Melt the butter in the microwave and mix it with the warm milk. Make sure that the mixture is not too hot, otherwise the yeast will die a horrible death (and the pretzels will be pretty dense). Add the milk/butter mixture to the mixing bowl and wait until everything comes together.
It may be necessary to add one or two table spoons of water. Mix for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, remove the dough from the bowl, spray the bowl with cooking spray, and put the dough back into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for three hours in a warm place, or over night in the fridge.
Heat the oven to 425F.
Divide the dough into eight pieces (I usually end up with about 112g per piece). Roll the dough into a long rope. Make sure that the middle part is thicker than the ends.
I usually do this in two steps: First I roll out all pieces to about 12″ – this gives the dough some extra time to rest. In the second step, I bring them to the full 24″ that I need to form pretzels.
Form the pretzels and let them rest for a few more minutes.
While forming the pretzels, bring a pot with water to boil (about 1qt) and add about 1/3 box of baking soda.
Once the water is boiling, submerge one pretzel at a time and boil it for 15 seconds. After taking the pretzel out of the water, put it on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle with pretzel salt while the dough is still wet. This helps the salt to stick.
Cut the thick part of the pretzel length-wise with a very sharp knife.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375F and place the baking sheet(s) into the oven. Rotate the sheets after about 10 minutes.
Bake for about 25 minutes.
Take the pretzels out of the oven and cool them on a cooling rack.
As usual, you can see higher resolution images when you click on the images on this page.