Soft Pretzels

pretzel

 

 

So we had a team meeting last week and everyone started talking about the Red Sox opening game, however I was more concerned with jeans day at work. I am a Bostonian who does not follow sports, and I am not ashamed. However, I do love the food that comes along with sports! Soft pretzels and cotton candy? They are kind of my love.

Anyways, after disappointing my colleagues with my little knowledge of baseball, the conversation turned to pretzels…and that my friends is where I redeemed myself. I will make pretzels on Monday for everyone! YAY! Melissa is no longer a disappointment and I can now be accepted due to my love of baking.

While many people find yeast doughs to be scary, I can assure you it is completely fine and the pretzel is actually a fascinating treat in baking history. My favorite pretzel story would have to be the bakers of Vienna who reclaimed their base, tore down the enemy’s flag, and raised their own…inspiring the home forces to rally and save their city. The emperor was impressed by  their bravery and gave the bakers a royal coat of arms of their own, which incorporated the pretzel.

I think I may write to Valve and ask them to include a baker’s hat in TF2…

This recipe has been adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef

Anyways…

Soft Pretzels

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water ( 110-115°F)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optionanal)
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 egg, slightly beat
  • coarse salt
  • Baking Soda solution (to follow) for boiling the pretzels

Directions

1. Mix the sugar, yeast and water and let stand for 5-10 minutes.

  • Make sure this solution becomes frothy, if not try again because your dough won’t rise

2. Mix together to flour, salt and caraway seeds

  • Stir the yeast mixture into the flour with until combined  and then knead dough for about 10 minutes

3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes

4. Split dough into 8-10 pieces and then roll out into 20″-24″ strings

5. Twist the dough into a pretzel shape and let sit for 2 minutes before slightly stretching dough

6. Create Baking Soda Solution

  • ~2 quarts boiling water, 3 tablespoons baking soda and 1 tablespoon salt

7. Boil pretzels, no more than 3 at a time, in the solution for about 3-5 minutes, until slightly browned and preheat oven to 425°F

8. Put several small cuts on each pretzel and lightly brush with the egg

  • Bake for 35 minutes