Sunday, October 12, 2008

Daring Bakers Past Challenge: Pretzels

Pretzels were the first ever Daring Baker challenge and I thought I should give it a go. I am trying to work my way through all the past challenges and figured it would be good to start at the beginning. I am still doing the Double Daring Baker Challenges, but I missed a few of the first recipes that they already did.

These pretzels were surprisingly quick and easy to make. I didn't have to be in the kitchen for long and before I knew it I had delicious, warm, soft pretzels! The recipe only makes 8 small pretzels, so I would suggest making a double batch because these didn't last long! I have already made them again!


For the dough:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 package (2-1/4 tsp.) instant yeast
1 cup warm water (you may need a little more)
For the pretzel topping:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
kosher salt
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Combine all the dough ingredients in a large bowl with your hands. Work the ingredients together until you can form a ball. If the dough is very dry, add a bit more warm water until it comes together. The dough will look messy, but don’t worry about it.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and begin kneading by pushing the dough away with the heel of your hand, and then folding it back in onto itself. Push the dough away again and then fold back in. Continue this motion, working the dough until it’s smooth. This should take anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes. (Alternatively, you can knead the dough in a mixer with your dough hook for 5 to 6 minutes).

Once the dough is done, sprinkle some flour on the dough and put it in a large, oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes to an hour. It will rise considerably.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and set aside.

Divide your dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a long rope that’s roughly 24 inches in length. (Don’t make it too long or your pretzels will be too thin.)

Taking hold of the ends of the rope, cross the rope over itself to form a circle with about 4 to 5 inches on each end that are sticking out. Twist the ends over themselves and secure each end on either side of the pretzel.

Carefully dip the pretzel in the water and then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.

Sprinkle the pretzels with the kosher salt and let them rest for about 15 minutes.

Put the pretzels in the oven for 6 minutes, then rotate the trays and bake for an additional 6 minutes. Keep an eye on the pretzels so that they don’t burn.

Remove the pretzels from the oven and immediately brush them with the butter. Keep brushing them with butter until you’ve used it all.

Serve the pretzels warm with plenty of mustard or another condiment of your choice.


The McBride Family said...

thank you for sharing BOTH times you made them! :)

Janet said...

These pretzels are great! I think everyone who tried them has made them at least a couple more times. They are so good and easy! I added some whole wheat pastry flour and some buckwheat flour to the AP on one go round and they were terrific.

Yours look perfect!

natalia said...

Ciao ! How nice these pretzels look ! Maybe you are right and I should bake all the past challenges as well !

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