Fun, New Shapes for Lenten Pretzels!
#8
Heh. Well I don't know if it's going to be superior or not, but at least it'll give you real pretzels as opposed to pretzel shaped bagels--not that there's anything wrong with that. Here goes:

For 6 Large Pretzels

400g Bread Flour* (about 3 cups)
1 tab. Malt Syrup or Molasses
1 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast**
1 tsp Table Salt
1 C Warm Milk (43C or 110F)
Kosher Salt for Sprinkling
*Pretzels need a relatively high amount of gluten to come out correctly. If you are going to use all-purpose flour, please add 1 tab wheat gluten per cup of flour.
**If you would rather use instant yeast, use 1 tsp

Stir yeast into milk and allow yeast to activate in milk for 3-5 min. Combine 375g (about 2 cups) flour and other ingredients in a bowl and mix to a thick batter. Gradually add the remaining flour it forms a ball. Knead by hand or machine for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth, soft and elastic.

Place dough in clean, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let ferment at room temperature for approximately 90 minutes until dough has at least doubled in size. After fermentation, gently punch the dough down to degas. Preheat oven to 220C (425F).  Divide dough into 6 equal pieces and roll into small logs. Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Stretch out logs of dough and let rest again for 5 minutes. Stretch logs out once more until they form ropes of dough 2cm (3/4in.) thick and 40cm (15in.) long. To shape pretzels, take one end of the rope and form a loop, do the same with the other end and cross the end in the center over the other. Lightly press where the loops cross so that they stick.

Bring water and lye at a concentration of 1:64 (something like 1 gallon water to 3 tabs lye) to a very low simmer (not boiling). Quickly dip each pretzel in lye bath for 2-3 seconds, skim out and let dry for a few seconds. Place pretzel on baking sheet sprinkled with kosher salt. Sprinkle salt over pretzels so that it adheres. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes or until brown. Pour 1/2 C Vinegar into water to neutralize lye.

*If you are nervous about using lye--at this concentration it's more or less harmless--or are unable to find any, for inferior results you can use baking soda.
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Re: Fun, New Shapes for Lenten Pretzels! - by St. Drogo - 03-19-2011, 05:51 PM



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