With family visiting this weekend, I thought these would be great for nibbling on and also a fun group project.
I placed the following in the bread machine pan:
1/2 cup water
1 cup nonfat milk (the recipe doesn’t specify fat content for the milk, nonfat is what I used.)
4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon malt powder (you can substitute sugar, but the flavor added by the malt powder really can’t be beat.)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast
Once in the bread machine pan, I set the program for the “Dough” cycle and let it get started.
While the machine was making the dough, I lined 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Once the machine beeped indicating the end of the cycle, I turned the dough out onto a lightly floured work area. I then divided the dough into 12 equal portions. Now was the time to bring in my reinforcements.
Mom, Becky and I each started shaping our pretzels. With the palms, we shaped each portion into a 20″ rope. Then, holding the ends of the rope, we twisted the ends together, brought the twisted end up and over the loop, attaching it to the bottom center. It was definitely a learning experience. I can honestly say that some of them came out looking like pretzels.
Once shaped, the rolls were placed on the prepared baking sheets and allowed to rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.
While the pretzels were resting, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees, made an egg glaze and prepared a water/baking soda bath. (You can skip the water/soda bath if you prefer soft breadlike pretzels.)
The egg glaze was made by beating 1 egg white with 1 tablespoon of water.
The bath was prepared by boiling 2 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a large deep pan
When the pretzels are done resting, I used a large spatula to carefully lift a risen pretzel and lower it into the boiling water. You can boil 2 pretzels at once. Leaving the water at a low rolling boil, I boiled each pretzel for between 45 and 60 seconds, flipping is over halfway though the time. Once each pretzel was puffy, I removed it from the bath using a slotted spoon, and allowed the excess water to drip back into the pan before placing the boiled roll back on the prepared baking sheet.
I brushed each pretzel with the egg glaze and sprinkled with a little coarse kosher sea salt. The pretzels were baked, one pan at a time, in the center of the oven for about 18 minutes (the recipes says 16-20).
The pretzels were placed on a rack to cool. They can be eaten warm or stored (covered in a single layer of tin foil) at room temperature for up to 3 days. I honestly don’t think we will need to be storing many of these, they are too good. Becky (my sister) brought some cheese sauce so we all sat around dipping warm pretzels in cheese. I really doubt there will be any left tomorrow.
They are delicious, chewy, slightly salty with the outer texture I expect from soft pretzels. I doubt I would have liked them quite as much without the water bath. Admittedly, they don’t look a whole lot like pretzels, but they are delicious. I also imagine, because they are shaped more like rolls than pretzels, they would make great sandwich buns.
Another keeper, I may be making this one whenever I have company coming.