Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I had soft pretzels on the menu for Sunday night's dinner. I've made them before but was trying a new recipe that looked like it might have more "professional" results. We ended up being invited over to our friend's house to watch the Redskins game. I asked if I could make my pretzels there which of course was fine with them!
I made the dough at home and took everything with me. Have kitchen-will travel!!! My friend helped me which was a lot more fun than doing it alone! We were quite pleased with the results! Right out of the oven, they looked much more like pretzels from a pretzel shop than any I have ever made before. The picture above was taken the next day so the pretzels aren't quite as fresh there.
Here's the recipe I used and will definitely make again:
Start by making a sponge of:
4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups flour
After this has sponged for 15 minutes, stir in:
2 tablespoons salt
6-8 cups of flour, one cup at a time
Stir flour into your dough slowly, one cup at a time. After a stiff dough forms, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and begin to knead it. Let the dough rise for about an hour in a greased bowl, and then divide it into 24 parts. Roll each piece into a 20 inch rope and from there shape it into a pretzel. To do this, curve the dough in half, forming a loop in the middle. Cross one end over the other twice and then lay the ends down on top of the loop forming a "pretzel knot."
Let your uncooked pretzels relax on a floured surface or pastry cloth for a few minutes. Stretch them out a bit and fix their shape before poaching them in a simmering mixture of:
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon salt
Poach the pretzels for 1 minute(they will float). Remove them carefully with a slotted spoon and place them on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt, if desired, and bake them for 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Serve pretzels with your favorite cheese sauce or mustard.
We made this cheese sauce to go with the pretzels:
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add 3 tablespoons flour, cook over moderate heat for a minute and then whisk in 3 cups chicken stock and 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard. When the the stock comes to a bubble and starts to thicken, stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and serve!