Thursday, 18 April 2013

Tasty Thursday - Pretzels

 I was born in Germany. I now live in Germany.
Like a true [half] German, i effing love bread. 
Käse brötchen, landbrot, laugen brötchen... 
I'd say i'm pretty well versed in Pretzelology. 
I have no qualms in saying that if you like pretzels, you will LOVE this recipe.

Soft pretzel buns. 

Dough mix
> 1 and a half cups of lukewarm water
> 1 7g sachet of yeast
> 1 tbsp sugar
> 57g butter, melted and cooled
> 4 and a half cups plain flour
> 2 tsp salt

Baking soda 'bath' 
[don't let this scare you, it's super easy!]
> large pot 
> 5 heaped tbsp baking soda 
> slotted spoon for scooping out
> 1 egg yolk & tbsp water for brushing
> sea salt for topping

First mix the water, sugar & yeast, and leave to froth for about 10mins.

Mix flour & salt together, then turn your mixer onto medium speed, and slowly add the butter, then the water mixture.

Continue mixing on a medium speed for 5-10 minutes. Until the dough totally comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Lightly oil a bowl & your dough, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.

When you come back to it it should have doubled in size and feel like a cloud.
Ready yourself a sheet of baking paper and preheat the oven to 220ºc/gas mark 7.

Now, that scary sounding water bath.

I used a 5l pot and filled it halfway. I filled it enough to be able to submerge a ball of dough, and also left enough room for the baking soda to fizz up the water without it overflowing.

So after turning on your oven, fill up your pot and bring it to a rolling boil.

Separate your cloudy dough into 12 even balls. Or pretzels.
You could even make about 30 bite-sized pieces. Totally your call.

Lightly oil a sheet of baking paper to transfer your bathed balls. [lols]

When you're shaped and boiling, add the baking soda to your pot.

Carefully drop in a couple of rolls and make sure they are evenly coated and submerged for 30 seconds.
Remove and carry on until all your rolls have been in the soda bath.

They go kind of shiny and sticky upon removal.
This isn't about speed so don't worry if you think you're being really slow, it took me forever.

Me and the boy had a competition [naturally], to see who could make a better pretzel. 

Mix up your yolk and water, brush on the rolls, score, and top with salt, or sesame seeds, but i'd vote salt. Always. Every time. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes and voila!! 

Lookit how pretty!

They come out a little soft to tap, but hey, they're soft pretzels. 
Try a little resistance and not eat them in one go. It will be tough, but if i can do it, you can! 

That being said we couldn't resist testing it out with a few warmed up bockwurst.
Mmmmm so so good.

I have been desperate to make pretzels for a while, but the thought of the bath seemed such a pain in the ass. I can honestly say this was super easy and SO worth it.

Have a go, you'll be so happy you did.
Also, people will be so impressed.

Not to toot my own horn but seriously, TOOT TOOT!

I came across this during the week and can't for the life of me remember where, as soon as i find it, i'll link it up!

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