Saturday, 4 January 2014

December baking: BTTFB Soft Pretzels

I know it's January, but December is busy. Especially in my oven.

For December 2013 Carola from Sweet and That's it challenged us (Back To The Future, Buddies) to bake Soft Pretzels.
As "Back to The Future Buddies" we are trying to catch up with the Bread Baking Babes by making the recipes us Buddies missed over the years. Either because we weren't buddies yet, hadn't found out about this fantastic baking group, didn't have the time, or weren't into baking ....
This recipe was originally posted in september 2011 by Elle of Feeding my Enthusiasms.

Boiled pretzels
Topped pretzels
These pretzels are real fun to make. The shaping and boiling are a bit different from your normal bread baking and were a first to me! (As you can see by the end result.) My baked pretzels look more like kaiser rolls, but they taste very good.

Baked pretzels

Recipe (10 pretzels)

420 gr finest strong bread flour (left over from New Years Eve's fried doughnuts)
7 gr instant active yeast
1,5 tsp sugar
1,5 tsp salt
240 ml warm water

1,5 L water
2 tbsp baking soda

Glaze and topping
1 large egg
1 tsp water
course sea salt
sesame and nigella seeds

Mixing the dough by hand
Mix all ingredients together and knead 15 mins. by hand. The dough feels fairly tough, but gets a bit softer while kneading. After 15 mins. kneading it feels a little more supple. Put it back in the bowl, cover it and leave to rise for about 50 mins. at room temperature. To check if the dough is ready, press it with a floured finger. If the indentation stays, it is ready. If it springs back, leave it another 10 mins. and check again.
When it's ready, punch down the dough and leave to rest for another 5 mins. covered.

Preheat the oven to 215C/fan 195C.
Divide the dough into 10 equal portions (about 65 gr. each) and cover. Roll out one portion at the time into a 45 cm rope with tapered ends. Now comes the interesting bit ... Cross one end of the rope over the other to form a circle, leaving about 10 cm at both ends of the ropes sides. Twist the rope at the base of the circle and fold the ends over the circle into the traditional pretzel shape, pinching gently to seal. place the pretzels on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and cover. Let them rise for 10 mins.

I borrowed this drawing from Nightbaking. You can also check out Carola's pictures. I had to check them again and again!

Bring 1,5 L of water to the boil with 2 tbsp of baking soda in a non-aluminium pan (cast-iron is fine). Reduce the heat to simmer. Gently lower one or two pretzels into the pan and boil for 15 seconds each side. They flip over easily. Transfer to a (greased) wire rack and repeat with the remaining pretzels.

Glaze, top, bake
Beat the egg with 1 tsp water and brush over the pretzels. Sprinkle them with a topping to your liking: I used course sea salt, sesame seeds and nigella seeds.
Place the pretzels on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake for 12 mins. in the preheated oven or until a deep golden brown. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
Enjoy them the same day or freeze!!

1 comment:

  1. So glad you made them, Claire.They look great.
    The first time I've "boiled the dough" was for the bagels, which I love a lot.
    In Switzerland I sometimes buy "Laugen Gipfeli", which are croissants boiled prior to baking,...absolutely delicious.
    Looking forward to seeing your Saint Hildegard's spelt bread...
    Happy Baking!