Salty, sugary, pillowy twists! Bonus points if you are in lotus position and look like a pretzel while munching. Week 18: Soft Pretzels
I had a craving for something savory instead of sweet this week (crazy, I know.) Pretzels were the perfect option! Plus, if I get inspired, I can dip them in nutella. I might go do that right now. Yum.
I’ve always wondered how the pretzels at baseball games have that shiny, salty sheen. And, eureka! A little research and I found that it’s all about the alkaline bath. Fancy phrase for the boiling water with baking soda in it that you dip the shaped dough into before baking. Once the pretzels start to bake, the coating almost caramelizes into a happy golden crust. Without it, you’d just have a yeast-flavored dough loop-di-loop.
The start of something glorious. I used the “rapid rise” yeast instead, but it wouldn’t have changed the timing of the baking process. This was the fastest bake I’ve done so far! Under and hour from mis en place to baked deliciousness.
Pretty, right? So happy that it’s spring! But I digress.
Here is the yeast warming up before I added the brown sugar and butter. The recipe suggested that the water just be lukewarm and I went out on a limb and didn’t use my thermometer. The risk worked out just fine!
Dough hooks are great. End of story. Though, before they were around, we could combine arm workouts with baking. Pros and cons.
Oh hello there. Looking a tad pale. Don’t worry – we’ll fix that.
Dough lumps pre-shaping. Lots of rolling and convincing the dough not to shrink back up and stay over 20 inches long. They look like scones! Hmm maybe I should make scones next . . .
Alkaline spa time. Apparently, you shouldn’t leave them floating for more than 20 to 30 seconds or they get a metallic taste. Didn’t want to test that theory but I’ll take their word for it.
Voila! I did a third cinnamon sugar and two thirds salt with a side of deli mustard.
Recipe from: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2017/04/24/easy-homemade-soft-pretzels/