Every month my diary gets enriched with some amazing new baking recipes. That is because I am part of some of the most wonderful baking groups. Its exciting and an enriching experience to learn new bakes and recreate them. The only downfall of being part of the challenges is trying to keep a pace with them and post them. Today's post is actually a part of my baking challenge which was meant for the month of August!
Pretzels was the choice of yeasted bake for 'We Knead to bake'. The choice was between the hard and the soft ones. Having never tasted pretzels, I assumed the soft ones would be better to attempt. In fact, that is what most of the members felt.
Pretzel, having originated from Europe, is a type of baked bread which has a traditional and unique knot-like shape called the 'pretzel loop'. They are often seasoned and flavoured with salts, sugars or various seeds/nuts.
The shape of a Pretzel is though to resemble folded arms during prayers with the three holes in it representing the Holy Trinity.
The pretzels are actually fairly simple to make and involve a unique process of boiling the proofed and shaped dough in baking soda bath before baking it. This step is supposed to give the pretzels a deep brown colour and a soft and chewy texture.
Pretzels are served with a mustard based or cheese based dips or else enjoyed just as they are. I loved dunking them in my evening milky tea and enjoying them the Indian style!
Ingredients: I halved the recipe to yield 6 pretzels
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- 3 cup water
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- milk for brushing
- white sesame seeds for sprinkling
In a bowl, take flour, salt and yeast. Add warm milk and mix till a soft dough forms. Knead for 10 mins to get a smooth and elastic dough.
(If using active dried yeast, dissolve it in the warm milk and sugar and allow to stand for 5-10 mins. Add it to flour and add salt and knead to form a smooth dough.)
Form the dough into a ball and place in a well oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Allow to double in size for around 1 hour
Deflate and divide into 6 equal portions.
Roll each (while others are covered to prevent drying)
to around 18" long rope with tapered ends.
Cross the ends, one with the other.
Twist the overlapped ends.
Fold the ends over the circle and secure them by pinching well.
Repeat the same for all the portions.
Allow to rise for 10 mins.
Meanwhile pour 3 cups of water with 1 tbsp baking soda in a pan and let it boil.
Turn down the heat and let it simmer.
Gently lower one pretzel and cook for 15 secs each side.
Remove and place on a greased wire rack repeating the same for all.
Preheat oven to 220 degree Celsius and place the pretzels on a greased and lined baking tray.
Brush the pretzels with milk and sprinkle white sesame seeds on top.
Bake for 10-12 mins or till they brown up well.
Happy Soft Pretzel eating