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Offline adriandb

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Pretzel Crust?
« on: February 15, 2010, 10:27:56 AM »
Has anyone ever tried making a pretzel crust pizza? Maybe it was being snowed in for 4 days, but I was thinking of making a "German" pizza with bratwurst, mustard sauce, sauerkraut and butterkäse.

I assume that the crust would still need a bath somehow to get the browning correct. I might have to make smaller pizzas to accommodate this. Any suggestions?


Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 03:40:29 PM »
I just remembered this thread,  you might find some good info here.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9010.0.html  -marc

Offline adriandb

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2010, 04:35:15 PM »
I just remembered this thread,  you might find some good info here. 
Thanks WsP, lot's of good ideas in there. Nothing on pretzel crust though. If anyone has any tips let me know. I'll take a crack at this soon and be sure to post back results here.

Offline 4D55 Performance Inc.

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2010, 07:44:50 PM »
I havent tried it but I have made soft pretzels before and I think they need to boiled to taste right. I do know that Pretzel Maker and other Pretzel places don't boil there pretzels so I am sure there is a way to achieve a pretzel crust.
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Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2010, 12:43:34 AM »
Pretzels and bagels are dipped in a dilute sodium hydroxide solution which converts the carboydrates in the dough to simple sugars. This gives those doughs their "glazed" appearance and sweet taste. Some people use lye or drain cleaner in place of sodium hydroxide but I would definitely NOT condone that practice. These products are not tested for consumption and are of an inferior grade to actually using food safe sodium hydroxide. You'll see in most cook books they use a water bath of baking soda, but I don't feel it has the same effect as using the real deal, which is sodium hydroxide.

Now for a pizza with a pretzel crust you would need to dip the crust then probably par-bake it. I say this because if you dip it then top it you'll probably just get a soggy crust. I would try actually cooking it as a pretzel, top it, then broil the top to melt the cheese and toppings. This of course assumes you won't use raw meats as toppings.

Offline norma427

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2010, 08:23:03 AM »
adriandb.

I haven’t tried these recipes, but Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzel started in our area when she was working at a farmer’s market and had the wrong ingredients to work with one day.  From there, now her soft pretzels are sold over the world.  Her whole story is very interesting from when she was Amish to her inspiring story of all the problems she went though in her life, with the death of a child, and a minister who betrayed her, to where she is today.  There are many recipes for clone Auntie Anne’s Pretzels on the web.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auntie_Anne%27s

http://www.cbn.com/700club/guests/bios/Anne_Beiler_030408.aspx 

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Books/story?id=4573719&page=1



Here are two recipes for soft pretzels. One is regular and the other is a sourdough pretzel. These are supposed to be clone Auntie Anne’s soft pretzel dough.

Auntie Anne's Pretzels
by Todd Wilbur
The first Auntie Anne's pretzel store opened in 1988 in the heart of pretzel country -- a Pennsylvanian Amish farmers' market. Auntie Anne's is one of the most requested secret clone recipes on the Internet. Many of the recipes passed around the Web require bread flour, and some use honey as a sweetener. But, by analyzing the Auntie Anne's home pretzel-making kit in the secret underground laboratory we can determine a better solution for recreating the delicious mall treats than any other recipe out there. For the best quality dough, all-purpose flour is what you need. And powdered sugar can be used to perfectly sweeten the stuff. Take your pick from salted pretzels, or the cinnamon/sugar coated kind, and crank the oven up real hot.

1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon yeast
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Bath
4 cups warm water
½ cup baking soda

1/4 cup butter, melted
kosher or pretzel salt

Cinnamon Topping
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Give the dough a twist, then fold the top down and pinch to attach. Glue is not required.
1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small bowl or cup. Let it sit for a few minutes.
2. Combine flour, powdered sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add water with yeast and vegetable oil. Stir with a spoon and then use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Knead the dough for 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Dough will be nice and smooth when it's ready. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover it and, and store it in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
3. When dough has risen, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
4. Make a bath for the pretzels by combining the baking soda with the warm water and stir until baking soda is mostly dissolved.
5. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 8 even portions. Roll each portion on a flat non-floured surface until it is about 3 feet long. Pick up both ends of the dough and give it a little spin so the middle of the dough spins around once. Lay the dough down with the loop nearest to you. Fold the ends down toward you and pinch to attach them to the bottom of the loop. The twist should be in the middle.
6. Holding the pinched ends, dip each pretzel into the bath solution. Put each pretzel on a paper towel for a moment to blot the excess liquid. Arrange the pretzels on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. If you want salt, sprinkle pretzels with kosher or pretzel salt. Don't salt any pretzels you plan to coat with cinnamon/sugar. You will likely have to use two baking sheets, and be sure to bake them separately. Bake the pretzels for 4 minutes, then spin the pan halfway around and bake for another 4 to 5 minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown.
7. Remove the pretzels from the oven, and let them cool for a couple minutes. If you want to eat some now, brush 'em with melted butter first, if desired, before serving. If you want the cinnamon/sugar coating make it by combining the ½ cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush the unsalted pretzels you plan to coat with a generous amount of melted butter. Sprinkle a heavy coating of the cinnamon/sugar onto the entire surface of the pretzels over a plate. Munch out. (TopSecretRecipes.com)
Makes 8 pretzels.


Soft Pretzels
INTRO
The sourdough enhancer in this recipe gives the pretzels an appealing slight tang. Leave it out if you like.
INGREDIENTS
Dough
3 cups King Arthur Mellow Pastry Blend or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder or 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon King Arthur Easy-Roll Dough Improver (optional, but helpful)
1 tablespoon (gently heaped) Lora Brody Sourdough Enhancer(tm) (optional, but delicious)
1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup water

Topping
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder (or 2 teaspoons sugar)
2 teaspoons baking soda
pretzel salt, cinnamon-sugar, or pearl sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
Mix and knead the dough ingredients together—by hand, mixer, or machine—till the dough is cohesive and fairly smooth. It should be slightly sticky; if it seems dry, sprinkle it with a tablespoon or two of water. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes

Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface, fold it over a few times to gently deflate it, then divide it into six pieces, each weighing about 3 1/4 ounces. Roll each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope.

In a shallow bowl, mix together the water, malt (or sugar) and baking soda. Shape each rope into a pretzel, and dip in the baking soda solution; this will help the pretzels brown. Sprinkle with pretzel salt or pearl sugar, if desired, and bake in a preheated 400̊F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them from the oven, brush with melted butter, dip in cinnamon sugar (if desired), and serve warm. Yield: 6 large pretzels.

Norma
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 09:37:24 AM by norma427 »
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Offline Jack

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2010, 02:43:23 PM »
Norma,

You are torturing me again!!  <grin> 

I used to live on West End Ave, Lanc. (in the old umbrella factory) within a block or two of the Hammond Pretzel factory.  I'd bring in my own tin and have them fill it regularly.  Yeah, these were hard pretzels, but hand tied and amazing when they were hot out of the oven.

I would not be surprised if those soft pretzel recipe would work for pizza crust.

jack

Offline norma427

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2010, 03:20:38 PM »

You are torturing me again!!  <grin> 

I used to live on West End Ave, Lanc. (in the old umbrella factory) within a block or two of the Hammond Pretzel factory.  I'd bring in my own tin and have them fill it regularly.  Yeah, these were hard pretzels, but hand tied and amazing when they were hot out of the oven.

I would not be surprised if those soft pretzel recipe would work for pizza crust.

jack


Jack,

Sorry to be tortuing you, again.  :angel:  They still make the Hammond hard pretzels and they are great like they always were.  I know you were close to Hammond's.
I don't see one of Auntie Anne's clone recipes on the web wouldn't work for making a pizza crust.  To find the right one would be good.  Amish people at the flea market do make hand rolled soft pretzels and I could see that being a base for a pizza.  They are so good and dipped in butter before you buy them.  The dough is soft like some pizza crusts, but then also baked, browned and crunchy.
Maybe some day I will have to give this kind of crust a try.  It would probably be good with some kind of mustard and am not sure what else.   ::)  Got to be some kind of great combination, maybe hot dogs, ham, sausage and cheese.

Norma

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Offline norma427

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2010, 06:23:36 PM »
I tried a pretzel dough and made the dough yesterday and let it cold ferment until today.  I saved some of the dough and made soft pretzels, also.  I think the taste of this crust does taste like soft pretzels and the soft pretzels were tasty. 

3 cups KAAP flour
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon IDY
1 Tablespoon diastatic malt powder King Arthur
1 ½ cup water
1 teaspoon oil
I had to add a little extra water to make this dough a little sticky.
pretzel salt

For dipping the soft pretzels and brushing the rim of the pizza

Tablespoons baking soda
1 qt. water

Dissolve baking soda in warm water

I was just going to put some mozzarella with the little cheezer hot dogs, and dollops of sauce, but decided to make something different to dress this pie.  I made something like a Bavarian Cream.  I used ricotta, cream cheese, one egg beaten, 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, ½ cup light cream and whisked them together on the stove until they were creamy.  I then put that mixture in the fridge.  This dough was fermented was 24 hours. 
The pie was dressed with the above ingredients, mozzarella, and sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.  The crust of this pie did taste like a soft pretzels. The soft pretzels were dipped into the baking soda and water solution for about 10 seconds. I brushed the rim of the pizza with the baking soda solution.  I did put some pretzel salt on the rim, but not very much. This pretzel pizza was baked on the stone on the bottom rack at 450 degrees F.
These are the pictures of the dough, soft pretzels, and finished pie.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2010, 06:24:59 PM »
rest of pictures
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Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2010, 10:19:30 PM »
Might be heresy to post this in a forum of avid DIYer's who pride themselves on making stuff from scratch, however I think many will find it useful. 

I found this website http://www.abelandschafer.com/ who sells commercial baking products retail. The only caveat is you have to buy big sizes, like 10, 25 or 50 lb sacks. The good side is I have tried their pretzel products and I can confess they are the REAL DEAL. They also sell NaOH but you have to buy it in 10kg quantities. (that's roughly 22 pounds). They also have dough improvers and conditioners which many folks trying to develop a commercial product might enjoy trying. They are expensive though.  I have not tried their cake or bread mixes, but if they are anything like the pretzel products, they must be fantastic.

BTW, I am not affiliated with these folks in any way.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 10:25:09 PM by DNA Dan »

Offline norma427

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2010, 10:36:37 PM »
Might be heresy to post this in a forum of avid DIYer's who pride themselves on making stuff from scratch, however I think many will find it useful. 

I found this website http://www.abelandschafer.com/ who sells commercial baking products retail. The only caveat is you have to buy big sizes, like 10, 25 or 50 lb sacks. The good side is I have tried their pretzel products and I can confess they are the REAL DEAL. They also sell NaOH but you have to buy it in 10kg quantities. (that's roughly 22 pounds). They also have dough improvers and conditioners which many folks trying to develop a commercial product might enjoy trying. They are expensive though.  I have not tried their cake or bread mixes, but if they are anything like the pretzel products, they must be fantastic.

BTW, I am not affiliated with these folks in any way.



DNA Dan,

Thanks for the link.  :)  Great to hear you have tried their pretzel products and found them to be the Real Deal.  Will have to look into see all the products they sell.

Thanks,

Norma
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Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2010, 11:18:17 PM »
Bah... you've got me itching to make some pretzels now!  While surfing I found another site with lots of great information on pretzels here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/pretzels

A few folks commented that Auntie Annies uses the baking soda method. From what I recall of their pretzels that sounds correct because I remember they have a tougher, more crunchy crumb. They aren't so soft and chewy.

Offline norma427

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2010, 08:25:44 AM »
Bah... you've got me itching to make some pretzels now!  While surfing I found another site with lots of great information on pretzels here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/pretzels

A few folks commented that Auntie Annies uses the baking soda method. From what I recall of their pretzels that sounds correct because I remember they have a tougher, more crunchy crumb. They aren't so soft and chewy.


DNA Dan,

Thanks for the additional link.  :) It seems there are so many ways to go about making soft pretzels.  I had used most of my dough for the pretzel crust, but the soft pretzels I made out of this dough turned out okay for my first try.  They were still soft after 2 days.  I didn't roll them out enough to get big soft pretzels.  My daughter and mother are asking me when I am going to make these again.  I think the baking soda water was okay when making the pretzels.  I don't think I would want to go the lye route though. 
I knew a person that owned a successful Auntie Anne's franchise.  They got all their ingredients dry already mixed, just like most franchise's for pizza get their dough already prepared.  What interested me about the franchise is their equipment (which included a Baker's Pride Oven) was more than twice the cost of a regular Baker's Pride if they would have purchased it themselves because it had the Auntie Anne's name on it. That was also for other equipment. They also had to pay a royalty of the amount of sales they made, which IMO was a lot.
I also know another person that has operated a soft pretzel stand at Green Dragon Farmers Market that has made soft pretzels for over 50 years.  Although I was inside their stand many times and had watched how they made the soft pretzels, I wish I had observed more about their process and what ingredients they used.  I might have to go visit them again and watch what their process is.  ::)
They also twist their soft pretzels buy hand and then put them in a long conveyor and under some kind of liquid bath for the pretzels.  They are delicious.  Maybe I could find out what kind of flour they use. 

Good luck in trying the soft pretzels and if you have time post some pictures of yours,

Norma

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Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2010, 10:30:04 PM »
When I first discovered the abel and schafer website a few years back I posted some pics from my first try using their mix here : http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2605.0.html

If you look closely at the photos you'll see the nice browning and "sheen" that the NaOH dip gives the pretzels. It looks like an egg wash, but it isn't.

Offline norma427

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2010, 11:07:07 PM »
DNA Dan,

Your reply at 16 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2605.msg31827.html#msg31827 about using baking soda and then reply 20 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2605.msg31841.html#msg31841 about using NaOH, makes me a little bit scared of using the NaOH.  Weren’t you afraid to use the NaOH?  Your pretzels did really look tasty. You are now making me hungry for soft pretzels. 

Thanks for your ideas and experiences in making soft pretzels,

Norma
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Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2010, 09:06:25 PM »
Not scared at all. I am a molecular biologist and use chemicals all day long in the lab. I understand by training how to handle certain chemicals appropriately. Being a "food forum" where most people will not have this experience and training, I laid the caution on there pretty thick. This is especially important because people are going to consume these things, or likely to make them with children present in the kitchen. If handled properly and the appropriate protective wear used, it's not a dangerous thing. However there is a real hazard here if you don't know what you're doing, including skin burns, loss of vision, blindness, scarring, etc. I certainly would not want to see something bad happen to someone on these forums just for the sake of making a better pretzel. It makes for some good pretzels though... :chef:

Offline norma427

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2010, 10:17:37 PM »
Not scared at all. I am a molecular biologist and use chemicals all day long in the lab. I understand by training how to handle certain chemicals appropriately. Being a "food forum" where most people will not have this experience and training, I laid the caution on there pretty thick. This is especially important because people are going to consume these things, or likely to make them with children present in the kitchen. If handled properly and the appropriate protective wear used, it's not a dangerous thing. However there is a real hazard here if you don't know what you're doing, including skin burns, loss of vision, blindness, scarring, etc. I certainly would not want to see something bad happen to someone on these forums just for the sake of making a better pretzel. It makes for some good pretzels though... :chef:

DNA Dan,

Makes sense you know how to handle the chemicals, being a molecular biologist.  :chef:  When I have time I will have to see what the pretzel place in Ephrata uses if I can find out.  In addition to their soft pretzels that ran though a conveyor belt under some kind of solution, they also kept a big candy kettle with a big pot on that was on all day to dip their 12" giant soft pretzels in.  I never saw anyone using goggles or other protective gear when dipping the giant soft pretzels.  They were then baked in an oven.

Thanks for telling about the NaOH,

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2010, 07:31:38 AM »
I talked to the man that operates the soft pretzel shop at market, Tuesday.  He is a son of the person that operates the soft pretzel shop at Ephrata.  I saw when I was inside his shop he uses wheat flour.  I didn't have the time to see what kind of wheat flour because he was busy.  I asked him about what he uses to make the pretzel crust brown and if it was NaOH and he said no, but he had to be careful and he used gloves when handling the powder. He said the ingredient is really hard to get a hold of to make the crust brown. I told him I was trying to make a pizza crust as an experiment to see if it could be done.  He was worried I was going to make a pretzel pizza crust at market and try to sell it.  I assured him, that wasn't my intent.  I just was wondering how to get the crust brown while experimenting.  He told me to come back at the end of the night and he would give me some of the powder, but I would have to be careful and use gloves when handling it.  I looked at how the pretzels went under what looks like a water solution in the conveyor.  He also said the water has to be warm when adding the powder.
At the end of the night, I was tired and forgot about going back to his stand, until I got home.  If I have time this coming week, I will go back and get some of the powder and try it in making soft pretzels here at home.  I have known both shop owners for many years.
Hopefully I will get to the bottom of how they get their soft pretzels to brown consistently.

Norma
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Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2010, 11:18:22 PM »
Norma, from your account of how he describes using this "powder" it sounds like NaOH. I don't know what else it could be. If it were baking soda or any kind of bicarbonate powder, I don't think gloves would be necessary. The reasoning for using warm water is to aid in dissolving the crystals when preparing the solution. The issue here is people tend to add it too fast to water when dissolving. That is the same info that came with the stuff I bought from abel and schafer.

Even if they say it isn't NaOH, I certainly would not smell it because if it's any stong base, it is bad for your lungs if inhaled. The easiest way I think you could test this is when you dissolve it use room temperature water. It will take longer to dissolve, but if it's NaOH or a strong base, it will generate heat and warm the water upon dissolving. You should be able to feel this heat by touching the side of the bowl. (Don't touch the solution!) You could also use a laboratory grade thermometer to see the temperature of the solution increase. It should still dissolve in the concentations being used for pretzel making even in room temperature water, it will just take longer and need occaisional stirring. This won't conclusively make it NaOH, but I don't see what else it could be.

When you dissolve this powder, sprinkle it in slowly, don't just drop a bunch of it in the water at once.