Saturday, October 23, 2010

Buh Bye Yankees Pretzels

In honour of the Yankees being knocked out of the World Series I decided to make ball park style pretzels!  They are fairly simply to make but there are a couple of steps that can get a bit tricky.  First with the rolling and shaping of the dough and then with the boiling of the pretzels.  Why is it necessary to boil the pretzels before you bake them?  It is all explained here by one of my favourite people, Alton Brown.  Of course this video clip also explains the birth of pretzels also gives a great recipe for them as well.  But you can still read the rest of this entry, watch the clip, then get baking!! The clip explaining the reasons behind the boiling is further down the page. It really is one of those things that gets easier after you do it once.

Soft pretzels

In a bowl mix together and allow to get it's foam on:
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 1/2 tsp yeast (or 2 packets)
  • 2 tbsps sugar 
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, cooled
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, uh....I mean in a large bowl or bowl of the stand mixer:
  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
Add the foamy yeast mixture to the flour/salt mixture and beat with the dough hook of your mixer or with a wooden spoon.  Add more flour if needed to make the dough less sticky. Continue kneading the dough until it is nice and elastic like (about 5 to 10 minutes).  It should be slightly tacky but not messy.
Place in a slightly oil bowl and cover with a tea towel to rise until double in size (about 45 minutes)

Once the dough is doubled, punch it down, just like the Rangers did to the Yankees.  Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.  (Being the nerd that I am I measured out 100gram pieces, but that is just me).  You could make smaller pretzels if you like but just make sure you adjust the baking time!

Roll the dough pieces into a long 18 to 24 inch rope.

Make a U shape with the dough rope and curl the ends in to overlap making a loop.

Repeat on the other end.

Place the pretzels on a parchment or silicone baking sheet lined pan.  Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for about 30 to 45 minutes.

During the last 15 minutes of rising, pre heat the oven to 500 degrees F and place a large pot on the stove and fill it with:
  • 10 cups of water
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
Bring this to a boil.  Carefully place 1 or 2 pretzels in the water and boil for about 30 seconds each.  Lift out with tongs or a slotted spoon, being careful to keep the pretzel in one piece.  Place the pretzel back on the sheet.

Brush each preztel with an egg wash made from:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp water
Sprinkle each egg washed pretzel with coarse salt and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.   Pretzels should be a deep brown.  Let them cool a bit before serving them with mustard!

***If you are planning on storing the pretzels do not put the salt on them.  Salt will just melt into the top of the preztels while in storage.***
Okay, let's face it, Alton Brown does a way better job than me explaining how to make pretzels and he does it with tons of geeky science and video.  His budget is also way larger than mine!  Please watch the Alton Brown episode.  It is just so darn good and is one of  my favourite shows.

1 comment:

  1. You know, it's been more than a week since the Rangers lost to the Giants, but this brought a smile to my face. Thank you! These look fantastic ...


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