Friday, June 27, 2008

Soft Pretzels/Salzbrezeln

So the kids helped me make these soft pretzels. As you can tell we did not get them thin enough so they aren't the typical size of soft pretzels. Next time I think I'll make these when the kids are asleep or off on an adventure with their father or I'll make them into pretzels sticks. However I must say these were so pretty good tasting pretzels. So much better than the rubbery kind you buy in the freezer section. They were chewy and light. I think I'm going to try to make these into a brown and serve pretzel so I can freeze them. We waited, it seemed, all day for these pretzels and if I can freeze them as a brown and serve I think we would use this quite often.

2 tsp dry yeast

1 1/4 cups (300ml) water

3 1/2 cups (500 g) unbleached flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

egg glaze, made from 1 egg and 1 tsp water

toppings of your choice

1. Sprinkle the yeast into 1/2 cup (125 ml) water in a bowl. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the dissolved yeast.

2. Use a wooden spoon to draw enough of the flour into the dissolved yeast to form a soft paste. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let "sponge" until frothy and risen , about 20 minutes.

3. Mix in the flour. Stir in the remaining water, as needed, to form a stiff, sticky dough.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

5. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with a dish towl. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down, then let rest for 10 minutes.

6. Divide the dough into eight pieces. Shape each piece into a round roll and then into an oval. Roll each oval backward and forward with your fingers, along the dough, until it forms a strip about 16 inches long and is 1 inch thick in the middle and 1/4 inch thick at each end.

7. Pick up the two ends of each strip to make a loop. Cross the ends over twice and then press them down on either side of the dough loop; repeat these actions with each strip of dough. Place the pretzels on a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with a dish towel. Proof until each piece has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
8. Brush the egg glaze over each pretzel and sprinkle with the topping of your choice. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

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