Sunday, September 25, 2011

BBB twists up some Soft Pretzels


I liked that this month's BBB challenge was something completely new for me and yet still pretty easy.  And of course I chose the cinnamon sugar version of these quick little twisties.  (Though I imagine they would be great with garlic in the dough and Parmesan on top).  I think I have had a sample of those mall pretzels once in my life.  Maybe.  But I figure they are supposed to be similar in bite and texture on the outside, to a bagel.  Though softer overall.  I think these turned out absolutely perfect as far as taste and texture were concerned - soft and chewy with a tight crumb.  I think if I had made the ropes larger, they would be fluffier but I like them this way.  The only trouble I had was that I didn't grease the parchment I laid the pretzels on after forming them.  So after boiling the first one, I found that the rest wanted to stick!  Ack!  After nearly mangling one of my only six pretzels trying to get it off, (I made a half batch), I finally figured it out.  Cut the parchment around the pretzels and plop them in the water, paper side up.  Not only do they hold their shape perfectly that way, but the paper is willing to come off quite nicely after about 10 seconds.  Just in time to flip.  Yay!  I've been on a spelt kick recently so I made mine with all light spelt flour.  Very pleased.  Give these a try and top them however you choose for your favorite pretzel flavor.  Check out the original post link for nice step by step photos on how to shape.  Oh, and I didn't bother with the eggwash since I was going to cover them up with butter and sugar anyway.  They still came out pretty shiny.  (Before sugaring.)  ☺

Soft Pretzels
from Cooking Light OCTOBER 2005
Makes: 12 servings (serving size: 1 pretzel)

Ingredients
1 package dry yeast (about 2¼ teaspoons) (I used 1 tsp Instant Yeast for a half batch)
1½ teaspoons sugar (I used coconut sugar for flavor)
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
3¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided (about 14½ ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
6 cups water
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cornmeal (Didn't bother - baked mine on parchment)
1 teaspoon water
1 large egg
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Preparation
Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large bowl, and let stand for 5 minutes. (Not necessary for instant yeast.)  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 3 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes). Add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 40 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°.

Divide dough into 12 equal portions. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll each portion into an 18-inch-long rope with tapered ends.

Cross one end of rope over the other to form a circle, leaving about 4 inches at end of each rope. Twist the rope at the base of the circle.

Fold the ends over the circle and into a traditional pretzel shape, pinching gently to seal.

Place pretzels on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 10 minutes (pretzels will rise only slightly).

Combine 6 cups water and baking soda in a nonaluminum Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer.

Gently lower 1 pretzel into simmering water mixture; cook 15 seconds. Turn pretzel with a slotted spatula; cook an additional 15 seconds. Transfer pretzel to a wire rack coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining pretzels.

Place pretzels on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Combine 1 teaspoon water and egg in a small bowl, stirring with a fork until smooth. Brush a thin layer of egg mixture over pretzels; sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until pretzels are deep golden brown.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels: (see photo at top of post)
When you put on the egg glaze in the above recipe, don't add any toppings. When the pretzels are baked and still a little warm, dip or brush them in melted butter and then dredge in a cinnamon-sugar mixture. I used ¼ stick of melted butter (and there was plenty left over), plus ½ cup sugar and about 1 teaspoon cinnamon but use the cinnamon amount that suits your taste.


 We'll put this up for yeastspotting


8 comments:

Elle said...

Beautiful pretzels! Love the tip on keeping them on the paper to boil them to hold the shape...must try that. Thanks for baking with the Babes!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Totally fantastic! Beauties for sure!
So happy to have you with us baking.

Mary said...

Oh my goodness! Those cinnamon sugar pretzels look fabulous.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Beautiful! I must close this page quickly. If my kids see this they will not rest till I make them!

Erin@TheHumbledHomemaker said...

Hi! You WON the copy of Modern Alternative Mama's Against the Grain ebook on my blog! Could you send me an e-mail at erinodom at pobox dot com? I need your e-mail address, so Kate can send you the ebook! Thanks and congrats!!

Winnie said...

These look absolutely delicious!

Gosia said...

These pretzels look so inviting. They are perfectly shaped and, oh so tempting. I just want to grab one off of this plate. Can't wait to be buddies again.

Elizabeth said...

Those look gorgeous! And perfectly formed too. Thank you for baking with us! (I like your idea of making some with parmesan sprinkled on top!)

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