Monday, May 30, 2016

Soft Pretzels

Re-post from Sept 3, 2015

I could not decide whether should I make savoury or sweet pretzels, so I made half of each!

My puffy pretzels! Looks more like buns! Haha! 

About to go into the boiling bicarbonate of soda solution. 

After boiling in the bicarbonate of soda solution for just under one minute, and they are a little out of shape after that! For the sweet pretzels, I've sprinkled a mixture of cinnamon powder and brown sugar over the top. And for the savoury pretzels, I've sprinkled a mixture of garlic powder and dried oregano. (I did not sprinkle the top with coarse salt as per instructions in the recipe).

Sweet and savoury, which one do I prefer?

These pretzels are soft, chewy and the one with the cinnamon-sugar over the top, is really nice. Makes a wonderful snack with a cup of tea.

The recipe says to serve the pretzels with some grainy mustard. I have not tried that before!

Surprisingly, it was really good eating the savoury pretzels with grainy mustard! I like them both, both the sweet and savoury.

Soft Pretzels with Grainy Mustard
(adapted from "Williams-Sonoma : Home Baked Comfort", Kim Laidlaw)
makes 12 pretzels
1 cup (8fl oz/250ml) warm water (110F/43C)
1 package (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp olive oil, plus more if needed
3-1/4 cups (16-1/2oz/515gm) all-purpose flour (I use bread flour)
1 tsp kosher salt (1/2 tsp sea salt)
1/3 cup (2-1/2 oz/75gm) baking soda
coarse salt for sprinkling
grainy mustard for serving

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the 3 tablespoons oil, the flour, and kosher salt. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough on medium-low speed until smooth, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled, about 1 hour.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and brush the parchment with oil. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, then cut it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope about 18 inches (45cm) long. With each rope positioned horizontally, bring the 2 ends up and toward the center as if forming an oval, cross one end over the other, and press each end into the bottom of the oval to create a pretzel shape. Place the pretzels on the prepared pan, spacing them evenly.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450F (230C). Fill a large, wide saucepan with 7 cups (56fl oz/1.75liter) water, stir in the baking soda, and bring to a boil. Gently drop 2 or 3 pretzels at a time into the boiling water (be careful not to overcrowd them). Boil for just under 1 minute, turning once with a large slotted spoon or spatula. Return the boiled pretzels to the baking sheet, top side up.

Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt. Bake until beautifully browned, about 10 minutes, rotating the pans about halfway through. Serve warm with big spoonfuls of grainy mustard.

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