EASY STEPS ON MAKING PRETZELS
All the great things in life come for free…even pretzels.
Many pastry lovers would not go home from a bakery without tossing a pretzel or two in their basket. There is just something about the pastry that is simply irresistible. It may be the fresh baked dough shaped in a fun twist or the tasty salty crust laden with sesame seeds, cinnamon and sugar, or parmesan cheese. Or, it could also be its flexibility as a pastry for dips or chewiness as a treat.
Whatever the reason for rooting pretzels is, one cannot contest the claim that this baked goodness is a must-have for many foodies.
As such, they may as well learn how to make pretzels in few easy steps.
For the dough…
– 4 cups of flour (about half a kilo)
– 4 tablespoon of brown sugar
– 2 tablespoon of salt (sea salt is better)
– 1 tablespoon of yeast, dissolved in a cup of lukewarm water
For the pretzel coating…
– 1 tablespoon of baking soda, dissolved in a cup of boiling temperature water
– 1 egg, beaten
– 1 teaspoon water (added to the beaten egg)
– Optional seasoning like vegetable oil, sesame seeds, etc.
1. In a big bowl, mix the salt, brown sugar, and yeast with a cup of lukewarm water. Whip the mixture while gradually adding the flour until the dough is smooth and free from “bumps.” If you think the dough is a little too sticky, add more flour. (Tip: It is better to let the dough sit overnight inside a plastic container placed in the fridge. Doing so would make the bread a more fluffier and softer. The dough will rise overnight, so you better use a large container.)
2. Cut the dough into 4 to 12 pieces, depending on the size you intend for the dough. Roll each piece to make a rope. Just make sure that the strips are very thin. If possible, make its diameter less than a standard pencil. Bigger pretzels can be made from ropes with thickness of about that of a cigar’s.
3. Shape the dough rope into an upside down “U.” Get the ends together and twist them, leaving a circle at the two tails.
4. Bring the tails on the circle. Flatten the ends using your fingers, and blend them in the dough. When you are satisfied with the shape of your pretzel, you can now place the dough on top of a greased cookie sheet.
5. Allow the pretzels to rise for about thirty minutes.
6. Brush the pretzels with a mixture of water and baking soda. To achieve a chewy crust, mix two tablespoons of baking soda with 4 cups of boiling temperature water. Dip the dough in the mixture for about 10 seconds.
7. Mix the egg and water and use this to brush the surface of the pretzels in order to give them a shiny glaze.
8. Place your choice of toppings: sea salt, parmesan cheese, sesame seeds or cinnamon and sugar.
9. Bake in the oven that is pre-heated with 400 to 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
10. Place the pretzels in a nice plate and enjoy.