Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Toffee Apple Pretzels #BreadBakers

Our BreadBakers theme this month, hosted by Cook with Renu, is everything pretzel!  Any type of pretzel, be it bread, buns, crisps, you name it, was on the table.  I have made soft pretzels once before and they were delicious.  And though I did have a different kind of pretzel pinned to try, this idea for Toffee Apple Pretzels popped into my head.  I knew what I had in mind and took cues from a bunch of recipes and techniques.  I wanted them stuffed but not streuseled, and decadent but not as messy as some other options I had seen.  These are still a bit messy, but oh my goodness.  They got the "WOW" from hubby.  All the sweet comes from the toffee bits and icing and it is plenty.


You might be wondering if you can make these without the boiling step.  Technically the answer is yes, but they will not be the same and in my opinion, not worth it.  Better to make something else because the result is quite different and so much better as a pretzel and not just a filled bread product.  I tried it both ways to be sure; much better pretzeled and very worth the extra few minutes.


Toffee Apple Stuffed Pretzels
makes 6 pretzels

Dough:
1½ cups (340g) water (110-115°F)
2½ tsp (9g) instant yeast
3½ cups + 1½ tbsp (450g) bread flour
½ tbsp (7g) brown sugar
1 tsp (6g) sea salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Filling:
1 large granny smith apple, peeled and small diced)
2 tbsp (14g) brown sugar
½ cup toffee bits (such as bits o' brickle)

Egg wash:
1 egg
2 tsp water

For boiling:
6 cups water
2 tbsp baking soda

Butterscotch Icing:
(Recipe follows)

Mix together the water, yeast, and sugar in bowl of a stand mixer.  Let rest for 5 minutes.

In medium bowl combine the flour, cinnamon and salt. Add to the yeast mixture and knead for a few minutes until it forms a cohesive mass.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.  If dough is very sticky, you may add 1-2 tbsp flour until it stops sticking to sides. 

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°F), 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.  (The timing is very forgiving - mine got two rises because I thought I had toffee bits in the freezer and then didn't and had to run around for an hour trying to find a store that carried them.  Thank you Albertson's!)

Meanwhile, toss the chopped apples with the 2 tbsp brown sugar and set aside. 

Combine 6 cups water and 2 tbsp baking soda in a non-aluminum Dutch oven or large pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer while forming the pretzels.

Divide dough in two and roll out one half into a long rectangle about 20x9 inches.  Cut the rectangle into three long strips. 

Divide the apples into six portions and place one portion along the middle of each strip.  Leave any juice in the bowl.


 Sprinkle the toffee bits along the strip of apples, about 2 1⁄3 tbsp per pretzel.


Carefully fold over the long edges to meet and seal very well.  Gently stretch to around 20-22 inches. To shape the pretzel, take the ends of the rope and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape.

Place the pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet(s).  Repeat with the remaining half of dough and filling ingredients.

Cut the parchment pieces apart to separate the pretzels.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Gently lower one pretzel into the simmering water mixture (leave it on the parchment to transfer); cook 15 seconds (the parchment will separate immediately and can be pulled out). Turn pretzel with a large 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 lined with fresh parchment. Whisk together the egg wash.  Brush a thin layer of egg mixture over pretzels.  Bake at 425°F for 12-14 minutes or until pretzels are deep golden brown.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Ice when just slightly warm and serve.

These are best when fresh baked and just cooled, but may be stored in an airtight container for a day or frozen for up to 3 months.  They can be reheated directly from frozen in a low oven or toaster oven for 10-15 minutes.  Glaze will melt to form a crispy, crackle finish when reheated.

Butterscotch Icing Glaze:
¼ cup (57g) butter, cubed
¼ cup (53g) packed brown sugar
2 tbsp (28g) milk
1 cup (114g) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For glaze, in a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add powdered sugar and vanilla.  Beat until smooth and creamy.  Drizzle over cooled pretzels.  (I like to put the icing in a freezer ziptop bag and pipe it through a snipped off end.)


Be sure to check out the rest of our pretzel publications:

 #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. 

 BreadBakers

5 comments:

  1. Oh Kelly. You went the extra ten miles! And bit o brickle! That is sooooo genius!!!

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  2. Those pretzel look so tempting love that glaze on top.

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  3. OMG! Filled pretzels with tasty apples! I love these and would try these sometime. Bookmarking this recipe and thanks for sharing.

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