No, this isn’t going to turn into a foodie blog, but bread-making is a brand new thing for me and these are too good not to share.
It’s Alton Brown’s recipe, actually, which I found here via Pinterest. I’ve modified it slightly with notes in italics for people like me who haven’t made a lot of bread or do not own a stand mixer and are not likely to have one in the near future…
- 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
- 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted (1/4 cup)
- Vegetable oil, for pan
- 10 cups water
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Pretzel (coarse) salt
1. Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.
2. Add the melted butter and THEN add the flour bit by bit, mixing as you go until ‘well combined’. This is a very dry dough and is incredibly difficult to mix. Before the last 1/2 cup of flour, I was forced to start mixing with my hands.
3. Once the dough is ‘well combined’ (or as combined as you’re going to get it by mixing), dump it out and start kneading. (Note, do not flour your surface. There is no way this dough is going to stick to anything and you don’t want to make your life harder than it is already about to be by making it drier. Below is a photo of the dough on the counter after about 4 minutes of kneading. This is not smooth. Your about halfway there at that point.) You’re going to be kneading for a while. ‘Until the dough is smooth’. Trust me, it doesn’t want to be.
4. When your dough is smooth, pop it in an oiled bowl and rub it around to coat it in the oil as well. Cover with plastic and a towel and leave it in a non-drafty, warm place until it has doubled in size. (about an hour).
5. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside. (Note: I did not brush my parchment paper with oil, and I didn’t have any problems.)
6. Bring 10 Cups of water with the baking soda to a rolling boil.
7. Meanwhile, turn out your dough onto a lightly oiled work surface, divide into 8 equal parts and roll each of them out to a 20-24 inch rope. (These do not want to ‘roll out’. I found that the more oil I added to my work surface, the easier it was. I wasn’t working with a puddle or anything, I just made sure that neither my hands, the counter, nor the rope was ever dry). Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
8.Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
I was going to make a cheese sauce for them, but never got around to it. Next time!Pin It
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