Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Twist & Shout!
Yesterday, I made pretzels for the first time with the kids, but not with Mrs. Gill's recipe (which I long since lost).
The new recipe I found is from the King Arthur Flour site, and it's lovely. The kids (including Aura and Rowan) scarfed them down, and this will easily be a first solo recipe for the kids when they're older. Good thing too since Home Ec. isn't even offered in junior high anymore... The kids got very creative with shapes yesterday, and Mad ended up with this "snail" that she took in her bento today—filled with cream cheese.
King Arthur Soft Pretzels (16 pretzels)
(adapted from the King Arthur Flour web site)
About 2 cups warm water
2 pkgs. regular instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup warm water
4 tablespoons baking soda
coarse, kosher or pretzel salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
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. Oil the dough and place it in a bowl, cover, and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 475°F. Prepare two baking sheets by spraying them with vegetable oil spray, or lining them with parchment paper.Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into 16 equal pieces (about 70g, or 2 1/2 ounces, each). Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. While the dough is resting, combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the baking soda, and place it in a shallow bowl. Make sure the baking soda is thoroughly dissolved; if it isn't, it'll make your pretzels splotchy.Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope (about 28 to 30 inches long), and twist each rope into a pretzel (or other shape). Dip each pretzel in the baking soda wash (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 it's covering 16 pretzels. Eat the pretzels warm, or reheat them in an oven or microwave.