Monday, February 20, 2012

Cook-In-Training: Soft Pretzels!

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Fresh pretzel dotted with salt and smothered in butter
Another Cook-In-Training post.  See how these got started here.
The kids are off from school all this week so expect a couple of posts about fun in the kitchen with them.  Our first project together was to make our very own chewy baked pretzels.  Wow!  It was a complete hit.  We all had a great time, there were plenty of hands-on tasks for the 7 and 10 year old to be involved in, and the end results were eaten up while the pretzels were still warm.

Before I go too far though I have to say a huge thank you to my oldest son.  He spent a lot of time with me this weekend trying to teach me how to create photos of food that do not make him cringe.  If you like the photos in this post it is all due to him - he is loaning me his good camera and trying to teach me how to use it.  Hopefully he is proud of my work shown here. ~ your humble grasshopper

This has been submitted to YeastSpotting.


Cookbook Cooking Blog:  King Arthur Flour Blog
Recipe:  Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels: Twisted Bliss
Adults Rating
Kids Rating




Pretzel workstations with lightly oiled cling wrap
My tips and tricks:
  • Since I wanted to have work space for helpers, I used our dining table and cling wrap that was lightly oiled for each station.
  • There is no need to find a bag to put the rising dough in - just cover the bowl with cling wrap and call it good.
  • On the soaking in baking soda water step, have a paper towel ready to drop them on first when you remove them.  They were too wet going straight from water bath to baking sheet.
  • It is worth the extra effort to find an over sized salt to use so that it does not melt and is visible on the baked pretzels.  I used a white flake sea salt I had in the house.
Finished sheet of pretzels, just the one sheet though ...
Changes I will make next time:
  • Just one to the recipe - ignore the call for instant yeast.  I used my regular yeast and things turned out perfectly.
  • I will roll out our ropes quite a bit longer so that once the pretzel is folded up and baked, it maintains some pretzel holes.  Note that the lack of holes did not detract from the end result one bit.
  • Make a double batch!  Although this is a lot of fun, it is also a fairly high amount of work.  You will want enough for everyone to have seconds, and maybe thirds ...

Buttered Soft Pretzels

King Arthur Baking Blog, modified slightly by Michelle K.

Ingredients


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 Tbs butter, melted
  • For baking soda water bath
  • 2 Tbs baking soda
  • 1 cup boiling water

Instructions


  1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water in a bowl. Mix or knead by hand for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. It will be a little sticky, that is fine.
  2. Move your dough to a bowl big enough to let it double in size. Do this by dusting the entire outer surface of the dough with a bit of flour before you get it into your bowl, then cover with cling wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  3. While the dough is resting add the 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the cup of boiling water, stirring well until the soda is completely dissolved. Set this aside to cool. You want this to cool down to room temperature, at least, by the time you are ready to use it.
  4. When the 30 minutes are up, prepare your oven and baking sheet. Set your oven to 475 (F) and cover your baking sheet with a piece of parchment or grease it lightly.
  5. Get out your scale and divide your dough into 8 equal pieces, about 2 1/2 ounces each. Shape each piece into a rough log form about 4 inches long. Let the dough rest for another 5 minutes.
  6. While the dough is resting pour the cooled water and baking soda mixture into a 9 inch square pan. Have a spoon or brush handy, a timer, and a sheet of paper towel.
  7. Roll each piece of dough into a long thin rope about 28 inches long, and twist each rope into a pretzel. Once all 8 are shaped, put 4 at a time into the baking soda bath 'good side' down. Spoon or brush the water over the side facing up. Let this sit for 2 minutes.
  8. Transfer the pretzels to the waiting baking sheet after a short stop on the paper towel to remove excess water. Sprinkle with your salt and allow them to rest one last time for 10 minutes. Get your melted butter and a brush ready.
  9. Bake the pretzels for 8-9 minutes until they are a deep golden brown. Once they are out of the oven brush them with the melted butter, using all of it up.
  10. Eat warm and enjoy!
Yield: 8 large pretzels

Prep Time: 00:30
Cook time: 00:09

Nutrition


Calories: 186
Total carbs: 31

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