Friday, May 14, 2010
Hot Buttered Pretzels
I decided to make some homemade pretzels when our friend Kali was over the other day. I had to choose between a couple recipes. I went with one from my King Arthur Flour Cookbook and it was a winner! (Notice this is another great use for a Silpat! LOVE those things...)
2 1/2 cups unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
7/8 to 1 cup warm water*
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
coarse, kosher or pretzel salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
*Use the greater amount in the winter, the lesser amount in the summer, and somewhere in between in the spring and fall. Your goal is a soft dough.
Manual/Mixer Method: Place all of the dough ingredients into a bowl, and beat till well-combined. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, till it's soft, smooth, and quite slack. Flour the dough and place it in a bag, and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 500°F. Prepare two baking sheets by spraying them with vegetable oil spray, or lining them with parchment paper (or a SILPAT).
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into eight equal pieces. Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
While the dough is resting, combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the sugar, and place it in a shallow bowl.
Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope (about 28 long), and twist each rope into a pretzel, as illustrated. Dip each pretzel in the sugar water (this will give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color), and place them on the baking sheets.
Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Bake the pretzels for 8 to 9 minutes, or until they're golden brown, reversing the baking sheets halfway through.
Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter. Keep brushing the butter on until you've used it all up; it may seem like a lot, but that's what gives these pretzels their ethereal taste. Eat the pretzels warm, or reheat them in an oven or microwave.
Yield: 8 pretzels.