Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rosie Makes Soft Pretzels.

Sunday afternoon, Rosie wanted to bake in her new, old oven. I decided to make soft pretzels from Alton Brown's recipe. Thank you to my friend, Mar, of FoodiesUntie blogdom, for sending me the recipe, since I was too lazy to look it up myself.
These turned out quite nicely. Especially dipped in some coarse grain mustard.
Soft Pretzels 1 1/2 cups warm water 1 TB sugar 1 package yeast 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted (and apparently imaginary) 2 tsp kosher salt approximately 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour 10 cups water 2/3 cup baking soda 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 TB water coarse salt Combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit until proofed, i.e. the mixture becomes foamy. That means the yeast is active. The yeast eats the sugar and carbon dioxide is released, hence the bubbles. If you have no bubbles, toss it and start over. Add melted butter and, using the dough hook attachment, gradually mix in flour on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Remove dough from bowl, wipe bowl clean, and coat with vegetable oil. Return dough to bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in warm place until dough has doubled in size. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. At least that's what Alton says to do. I don't think the oil does anything, since it just pools on the parchment. Bring 10 cups of water and baking soda to a rolling boil. Turn the dough out and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope. Holding the ends of the rope, cross the ends over each other and press onto the bottom of the U to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto parchment-lined pan. Place pretzels, one at a time, into the boiling water, for 30 seconds. Remove from water and return to the sheet pan. Brush top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water and sprinkle with coarse salt. I sprinkled a few with fennel seeds and some with caraway seeds. Bake until dark golden brown in color, about 14-16 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool.
Sprinkle the yeast onto the water.
Then the sugar. Watch as the sugar crystals grab the yeast granules and plunge to the bottom. Or do the yeast granules cling onto the sugar crystals? Stir to mix.
Let the yeast mixture proof. Puffy and bubbly.
With machine running, add in melted butter.
Add in salt.
Gradually add in flour. Slowly at first.
Then turn speed up to medium.
Continue kneading until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
I pulled the dough off the hook and worked it a few turns on my board.
Nice, smooth dough. I put the dough in my oiled bowl, covered it in plastic and with a hot, wet towel, and stuck it in the microwave to rise. While this was rising, I made lunch, consisting of orzo with caramelized tomatoes and pesto, and cod with a Parmesan cream sauce. Post to follow.
When the dough doubled in size ...
... I turned it out onto my board.
Mix baking soda with water and eventually bring to a rolling boil.
Cut dough into 8 pieces.
Roll into balls.
Roll evenly into ropes. Try to do better than I did. Mr. Hawthorne's two ropes at the end look pretty good.
Fashion into pretzel shapes.
Place onto parchment-lined pans.
Drop singly into boiling water and cook for 30 seconds.
Uncooked pretzels on left. Puffy cooked pretzels on right.
Brush with yolk mixture.
I'm using coarse sea salt. Use sparingly.
Sometimes I get caught up in getting just the right picture, and I shoot an action shot over and over again. And that's what happened to the salt on my pretzels. I was trying to get the picture. And ended up using a lot of salt.
I added fennel seeds on some. Caraway seeds on others.
Bake at 450 degrees for about 16 minutes.
Cool on racks.
Way too much salt, but remember, I was trying to get the sprinkle action shot. I scraped off most of the salt before I ate. But the salt also makes it look real pretty.
I liked the caraway.
Dip it in some coarse grain mustard.
Very nice soft, bready texture inside.
Hot pretzel straight from the oven. Butter and mustard.
Now, I need a recipe for a hard pretzel. And Alton happens to have one. Same ingredients. Different process. I guess I'll have to try this.


Marilyn said...

I think I'm going to have to try that recipe, except that I don't have a stand mixer or a dough hook attachment.

And Mr. P would think that was the right amount of salt, by the way!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I started to do it by hand, since I'm used to that, but then I threw caution to the wind and went downstairs to bring up my KitchenAid.

Lea said...

YUM. I bet my kids would love to make and eat those. Perhaps some yucky winter day. If we ever get winter. Also, that is the CORRECT amount of salt, imo.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Lea, remember the comment you left me on my oatmeal post? About Irish/Steel Cut Oats? Oh My Goodness! This stuff is divine. Thank you! (Post in the works.)

Lea said...

Can't wait!e

Kathy said...

Great measuring spoons!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thanks, Kathy. Daughter Hawthorne gave me a set similar to yours.