Prep 2 hrs
Cook 10 mins
From Giant Food's Healthy Ideas Summer 2010 issue, this looks cool so I wanted to share it. This recipe can be used to make things like cheese logs if using string cheese or hot dogs to make pretzel dogs, as well as traditional pretzels. The key to pretzel baking is really with the baking soda bath which gives pretzels their dark shiny appearance. This is definitely not a rush-hour recipe-- a weekend project for sure! (1 cup AP flour + 1 TB vital wheat gluten = 1 cup bread flour)
- Sprinkle the yeast on the 1 1/2 cups warm water in mixing bowl and agitate slightly to dissolve. Add the sugar and dissolve.
- Add the flours and salt, knead until smooth and elastic.
- Let rise until doubled, about an hour. The card didn't specify if it should be covered or not.
- When the dough is almost done rising, make the baking soda bath with the baking soda and 2 cups warm water. Make sure to stir it often!
- After the dough has risen, punch the air out of it.
- Divide the dough into 12 pieces on a clean surface, roll into a long rope about 1/2 inch thick, and shape-- such as circles, twists, nuggets, hearts, traditional shape, etc.
- For traditional pretzel shape, shape the rope like a U cross the two ends over each other, pull the ends down and attach them at the bottom of the U.
- Carefully dip each pretzel in the the baking soda bath for 20 seconds, and place on a greased baking sheet.
- Allow the pretzels to rise again til doubled in size-- not listed on the recipe card (they need to describe some of these recipes better!) but I am assuming it to be roughly another 60 minutes because the prep time is listed as 120 minutes total.
- Bake at 450F for about 10 minutes or until golden-brown.
- Now here's the fun part-- brushing and seasoning/decorating! Melted butter and olive oil work for brushing, about 4 tablespoons (more or less depending on how much you like) will work for 12 pretzels, that's what is listed on the recipe card but I decided not to include it because some people may not want to brush it on. If youdidn't bake your toppings on, brush with butter and oil and proceed with your own ideas or the ones I and the magazine suggest.
- For toppings, kosher salt is the main one for traditional pretzels. But why not try a cinnamon-sugar mixture like coarse pearl sugar and primo quality cinnamon? Sesame seeds, or a mix of black and toasted sesame seeds by themselves or with some garam masala and olive oil. Garlic salt and parmesan cheese (the powdery kind!) for Italian pretzels, with your favorite pizza or pasta sauce as a dipper! Use your favorite herbs, fresh or dried! Dulce de leche sauce and dried apples for gourmet pretzels! The sky's the limit!