Friday, January 22, 2016

Twisted Pretzels!

On Saturday evenings, I usually prepare the baked goodies I'm planning on bringing to church the following morning. If I plan it right, all I have to do in the morning is get up, throw things in the oven and I'm set! Yay for planning ahead! Well.....

Last week, a girlfriend had given me an intriguing Martha Stewart recipe for soft pretzels. If you've been following my blog long, you KNOW I LOVE to make soft pretzels! I thanked her profusely and mentally began the prep for Sunday. Saturday night came and I mixed up the dough and, per the instructions, placed it in my frig for an overnight rise. (Usually what I'd do is let the dough rise once on Saturday night, form the pretzels and cover them and put them in the frig overnight.....). I woke a little earlier on Sunday, knowing I had left myself a little extra work to do before church. When I pulled the covered bucket out of the frig, I knew immediately that there would be NO pretzels this just didn't "feel" right. Peeking into the bucket confirmed my fears......there was a rock-hard mound of dough that hadn't risen at all. Booooooooo!!!! Epic fail!!! I quickly mixed up some "Stand-by Bread" and made something else for the morning. 

On Monday morning, we had contractors coming to the house so I decided to treat them to some baked goods. Just for ME, I chose to make this pretzel variation.......(I still had "pretzel fever"!). As you can see from the picture, these pretzels turned out beautifully....and they tasted as good as they looked! Hurrah for pretzels! 

(Just FYI - I did mix and form the pretzels the night before and then dipped and baked them that morning - soooo easy! )

Twisted Pretzels!

¾ Cup warm water
1 ½ tsp. sugar
1 ¼ Cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 Cup unbleached bread flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 packet/1 Tbsp. Red Star Platinum yeast
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

For pretzel prep:
10 Cups water
2/3 Cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with a small amount of water
Coarse kosher salt or pretzel salt
Seed mixture: 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds; 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds; 1 Tbsp. flax seeds; 1 tsp. pretzel or kosher salt

Place warm water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Preheat oven to 425. Bring the 10 cups of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, form your pretzel twists: Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Working piece by piece, roll each piece out into a long rope. Fold each rope in half and, holding the rope together at the two loose ends, twist several times. Now insert the ends you are holding through the loop at the other end. Place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. When the water is boiling, carefully and slowly add the baking soda to the water (it WILL bubble and rise!). With care, place each twist in the water bath for approximately 30 seconds. Lift out with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel briefly to drain. Carefully move the pretzels back to the baking sheet and brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle with pretzel salt (or coarse kosher salt) or a seed mixture. Bake until deep golden brown, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on cooling rack.

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