Posted in /Cooking/Breads on Thursday, November 22, 2018
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 3/4 - 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus a little for the counter)
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg, beaten
coarse sea salt for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper Set aside.
2. In a liquid measuring cup dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar. Stir with a spoon until fairly mixed, about 1 minute. Some clusters of yeast will remain.
3. In a mixing bowl combine 3 cups of flour with salt and add your yeast mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add up to 1/2 cup more. Poke the dough with your finger - if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
4. On a floured surface knead the dough for about 3 minutes and shape into a ball. With a knife, cut ball of dough into 8 sections.
5. Roll the dough into a rope with an even diameter. My ropes were twenty inches long. This measurement will depend how large you want the pretzels. Once you have your long rope, take the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle.
6. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape. See above for link to visual instructions.
7. In a large stock pot boil water (1/2-3/4 full) and add baking soda once it becomes a rolling boil.
8. The baking soda makes an alkali solution, which is what causes the crust to brown so deeply, and it's most of the difference between a pretzel and a bagel
9. Place a pretzel onto a large slotted spatula and dip into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Any more than that and your pretzels will have a metallic taste. The pretzel will float. Lift the pretzel out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off.
10. Place pretzel onto prepared baking sheet.
11. In a small bowl, beat the egg and pour into a shallow bowl or pie dish. Brush the shaped pretzel into the egg wash (1 Beaten egg and 1 Tbsp water) and sprinkle with salt.
12. Bake for 10 minutes at 425F degrees. Turn the oven to broil and bake for 5 more minutes to brown the tops. Watch closely to avoid burning.