Friday, July 12, 2013

Hot, Whole-Wheat Soft Pretzels

Seriously, can't you just smell them? 

Sliced horizontally, they make great hamburger buns.  If you do them as straight sticks, you can cut them and make them hot dog buns. Yum!

Soft Pretzels
  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt or French grey sea salt
1. Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flours and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl,  cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for 5 minutes- 10 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper or Silpat. Set aside.

3. Heat 3 cups of water to very warm  in an 8-quart saucepan and add the baking soda. Turn off the heat.

4. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8-16 pieces depending how large you'd like your pretzels to be.  Dip the rope into the soda water holding onto the ends of the rope as handles. (It doesn't matter if the tips of the ends don't get submersed).  Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

5.  Coat with egg yolk and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake at 450 for 8-12 minutes or until deep brown.


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