Wednesday, February 13, 2013

40 Meatless Meals: Ash Wednesday Pretzels

This is more of a snack than a meal, to be sure, but since two of today's meals are supposed to be snacks at most anyway, it seems like a good place to begin. I've made this recipe several times, and it's always turned out well. They freeze well, and can be warmed up in the microwave or oven. For a real treat, hunt up a jar of Bavarian Sweet Mustard for dipping!

More on pretzels and Lent.

Makes eight.

  • 1½ cups warm (110 to 115º) water 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 1 package active dry yeast 
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4½ cups 
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted 
  • Vegetable oil, for pan 
  • 10 cups water 
  • 2/3 cup baking soda 
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water 
  • Pretzel salt or other coarse salt
Combine the water and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit until the foamy. Add the flour, salt, 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, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush or spray with oil. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. 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.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, one at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

Martha said...

mmm I made this exact recipe for a Mardi Gras party!