Monday, February 4, 2013

#64 DZPII: Make Homemade Pretzels

#64 DZPII: Make Homemade Pretzels
My first job out of high school was at the mall... so needless to say I love me some mall food. And good old Auntie Anne's is always there and a pretzel was waiting for me... with a side of cheese sauce! I've missed Anne's since I left the mall, but everytime I felt the need to "physically shop" (instead of my prowlings on the internet) I head to the mall... and the pretzels are still there.
But I've always thought I'd venture out of the comfort-zone of cupcakes and cookies, and bake something else... something bread-like... something like PRETZELS!
Recipe adapted from Daily Savings
-1 teaspoon sugar
-1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup baking soda
-1/4 cup coarse salt

1. Stir 1 cup warm water (105°F to 110°F), yeast, sugar and salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Set aside until yeast has dissolved and mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes. Stir in both flours, set mixer speed to medium and knead with dough hook until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Or, mix with a wooden spoon and knead by hand.) Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil 2 large baking sheets. Stir baking soda and 2 cups warm water in a bowl until dissolved.

3. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface; cut into 20 equal-size balls. Working with 1 at a time, roll and stretch each ball to form thin, 12- to 15-inch-long ropes. Twist each into a pretzel shape.

4. Use a slotted spoon to dip each pretzel into baking soda solution; place on a baking sheet. Reshape as needed. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove sheets to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes; transfer pretzels to rack to cool further.

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