Author Topic: Pretzel Crust?  (Read 26151 times)

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Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #50 on: March 25, 2010, 11:16:34 AM »
DNA Dan,

I was reading some articles about using nanomaterials in food.  Since you are a molecular biologist, do you know anything about what they might be putting in our food now or in the future?  Part of one of the articles I read said about spraying nanomaterial on loaves of bread to make them shiny.  My guess would be maybe pretzels someday.

This is the article and the parts where you can read more.             

http://www.aolnews.com/category/nanotech/

Bread makers are spraying nanomaterials on their loaves "to make them shinier and help them keep microbe-free longer.

A report issued last month by the Government Accountability Office denounced the enormous loophole that the FDA has permitted through the GRAS classification. And the GAO investigators also echoed the concerns of consumer and food safety activists who argue that giving nanomaterials the GRAS free pass is perilous.

Amid that uncertainty, calls for safety analysis are growing.

"Testing must always be done," says food regulatory consultant George Burdock, a toxicologist and the head of the Burdock Group. "Because if it's nanosized, its chemical properties will most assuredly be different and so might the biological impact."

I don't want to hijack the thread topic, however I will just say that most of these technologies are geared toward improving the process or enhancing the efficacy of chemicals already used. In the example they gave about making a bread loaf "shiny" you can imagine only the molecules actually touching the bread are going to have any effect. This amounts to basically a single layer of atoms on the loaf. So what some of the nanotechnologies promise to deliver are ways to microaerosolize chemicals so they can achieve just a single layer of atoms, and they don't have to use as much raw materials to produce the same desired effect. Another example would be getting a higher growth rate out of the yeast so you can start a loaf with a just a few yeast cells. I see this more as benefitting manufacturers more than anything else. In terms of using banned chemicals in smaller quantities than what is allowed by law, I am pretty sure most of the "bad" chemicals are banned in any concentration. The ones that have a minimum allowance are typically chemicals used in the process that may be toxic only in higher doses when compared to mouse models. I really dislike articles like this because they are "sensationalist" and hype up a process or illegal loophole that sounds like everyone's doing it and it's bad for you. Like all things in our environment there are much more worse things you can encounter. Breathing polluted air is probably worse for you than eating a nano-produced bread loaf. These types of articles fail to put the chemical hazard in perspective of the real world and what the average person encounters on a daily basis.


Online norma427

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #51 on: March 25, 2010, 12:39:22 PM »
I don't want to hijack the thread topic, however I will just say that most of these technologies are geared toward improving the process or enhancing the efficacy of chemicals already used. In the example they gave about making a bread loaf "shiny" you can imagine only the molecules actually touching the bread are going to have any effect. This amounts to basically a single layer of atoms on the loaf. So what some of the nanotechnologies promise to deliver are ways to microaerosolize chemicals so they can achieve just a single layer of atoms, and they don't have to use as much raw materials to produce the same desired effect. Another example would be getting a higher growth rate out of the yeast so you can start a loaf with a just a few yeast cells. I see this more as benefitting manufacturers more than anything else. In terms of using banned chemicals in smaller quantities than what is allowed by law, I am pretty sure most of the "bad" chemicals are banned in any concentration. The ones that have a minimum allowance are typically chemicals used in the process that may be toxic only in higher doses when compared to mouse models. I really dislike articles like this because they are "sensationalist" and hype up a process or illegal loophole that sounds like everyone's doing it and it's bad for you. Like all things in our environment there are much more worse things you can encounter. Breathing polluted air is probably worse for you than eating a nano-produced bread loaf. These types of articles fail to put the chemical hazard in perspective of the real world and what the average person encounters on a daily basis.

DNA Dan,

I didnít want to take this thread off-topic either, but wanted to understand more how modern technology is changing the way foods are produced. I am only an average everyday person and donít understand all this technical information.  When I read how bread was being made shiny with these nanomaterials, it made me wonder how this is done.  I then was curious about pretzels and if some day they might do the same thing to make them shiny.

Your explanations are excellent.  :)

Thanks,

Norma

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #52 on: March 30, 2010, 12:13:49 AM »
Well I have good news and bad news. The good news is I am stuffed to my gills on pretzel pizza. The bad news is the mix from A&S seems like it was reformulated. The pretzels I made had a very light texture, which I remember them being more dense and chewy. Also the surface of the pretzels did not gloss over as much nor get super brown. I had to cook them a little longer to get some decent browning. Anyway the taste was still great, just not as I remember it from a few years back. It's still a great deal. I made a 5 lb batch which yielded about 25 pretzels and a 14 oz pizza topped with mustard, mozzarella and ham bits. I was surprised the mustard didn't taste awkward on the dough really. I used regular French's but a more spicy dijon brand may have been better. The pie tasted like something you would get in France. Almost like a ham and cheese sandwich or something. Unconventional yet good.

Here are some pics of the festivities. I don't know how to insert text between photos, so I'll let the photos speak for themselves. Norma, I tried to take some before and after dipping closeups so you can see the difference in texture I was talking about before. Enjoy! -

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #53 on: March 30, 2010, 12:15:14 AM »
More photos

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #54 on: March 30, 2010, 12:16:36 AM »
And some of the pizza! :o

Online norma427

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #55 on: March 30, 2010, 06:18:53 AM »
Well I have good news and bad news. The good news is I am stuffed to my gills on pretzel pizza. The bad news is the mix from A&S seems like it was reformulated. The pretzels I made had a very light texture, which I remember them being more dense and chewy. Also the surface of the pretzels did not gloss over as much nor get super brown. I had to cook them a little longer to get some decent browning. Anyway the taste was still great, just not as I remember it from a few years back. It's still a great deal. I made a 5 lb batch which yielded about 25 pretzels and a 14 oz pizza topped with mustard, mozzarella and ham bits. I was surprised the mustard didn't taste awkward on the dough really. I used regular French's but a more spicy dijon brand may have been better. The pie tasted like something you would get in France. Almost like a ham and cheese sandwich or something. Unconventional yet good.

Here are some pics of the festivities. I don't know how to insert text between photos, so I'll let the photos speak for themselves. Norma, I tried to take some before and after dipping closeups so you can see the difference in texture I was talking about before. Enjoy! -

DNA Dan,

Wow..the pretzels and pizza look great!  ;D  Your pretzels look so perfectly formed.  How long did you let your pretzels in the NaOH? 

Your choice of topping was good.  I wish I could have tasted the pretzels and pizza.  I also was surprised that the mustard I used went well with the pretzel pizza. 

After seeing your pictures maybe more people will try a pretzel pizza.  I don't really think they would need the NaOH.  The baking soda method would work okay if just making a pretzel pizza.  What are your thoughts on this?

In hearing how you might think the pretzel formula might have changed, it just sounds like some pizzas that were good before and now they changed something so they aren't as good. 

I really enjoyed looking at your pictures and description on how you made both.  I can believe you are now stuffed.  :-D

Thanks for posting on your experiences on the festivities,  :)

Norma


Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #56 on: March 30, 2010, 02:35:46 PM »
I give the dip about 20-30 seconds. It's certainly more than just a quick dip. I also make sure I float it off the spoon a bit because otherwise when you go to transfer it to the baking paper it doesn't slide off the spoon too easily.

So on the instructions for this mix there is a "sweet pretzel recipe".  They add brown sugar and skip the lye method. They're still using the mix in the recipe, just in a different manner. This could explain why they no longer sell the sweet pretzel variety and why this mix seemed different. It seems to be some hybrid product that they combined from the two ways of making two different pretzels.

The hot baking soda dip is certainly a viable alternative to NaOH, but will not produce the exact same effect that the purists are looking for. I'll have to try the sweet pretzel variety next. Auntie Annie's sure does have a lot of different topping for their pretzels.

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #57 on: March 30, 2010, 08:54:56 PM »
I give the dip about 20-30 seconds. It's certainly more than just a quick dip. I also make sure I float it off the spoon a bit because otherwise when you go to transfer it to the baking paper it doesn't slide off the spoon too easily.

So on the instructions for this mix there is a "sweet pretzel recipe".  They add brown sugar and skip the lye method. They're still using the mix in the recipe, just in a different manner. This could explain why they no longer sell the sweet pretzel variety and why this mix seemed different. It seems to be some hybrid product that they combined from the two ways of making two different pretzels.

The hot baking soda dip is certainly a viable alternative to NaOH, but will not produce the exact same effect that the purists are looking for. I'll have to try the sweet pretzel variety next. Auntie Annie's sure does have a lot of different topping for their pretzels.

DNA Dan,

Thanks for you information about the difference in the new pretzel mix you received.  The sweet pretzel does sounds a lot like Annie Anne's soft pretzels and you are right about their many toppings.

I will also try another pizza pretzel crust in the next few weeks. 

I appreciate you telling me how long to dip the pretzels in the NaOH.  :)

Thanks,

Norma

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #58 on: April 14, 2010, 07:17:14 PM »
The pretzel crust is interesting;

I was experimenting, and I've come to put salt on the outside rim of my crust for flavor, but used a coarse sea salt. Reminded me of a "pretzel" crust. I wouldn't use course again...likely fine.

Pretzels are great, and a pretzel crust was interesting, but I don't think I like the concentrated bursts of salty flavor.


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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #59 on: May 27, 2010, 08:52:07 AM »

Here are a few articles about pretzels in the New York Times if anyone is interested.  It talks about making soft pretzels the old-fashioned way.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/dining/26pretzel.html

Bavarian-Style Soft Pretzels (Laugenbrezeln)

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/dining/26pretzelrex1.html

Another how to make German style sweet mustard.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/dining/26pretzelrex2.html

Norma

Offline Sunshine

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #60 on: February 25, 2013, 08:49:42 PM »
What a great thread!  I learned a lot!  (Thanks Norma & DNA Dan.)  Did either of you settle on a recipe that you liked to use the most? 
Thanks!

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #61 on: February 25, 2013, 09:47:07 PM »
What a great thread!  I learned a lot!  (Thanks Norma & DNA Dan.)  Did either of you settle on a recipe that you liked to use the most? 
Thanks!

Sunshine,

Welcome to the forum.  :)  I didn't settle on any recipe that I liked the best. 

Norma

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #62 on: February 26, 2013, 06:18:30 PM »
I still use the Abel and Schafer mix. You just add yeast and water then you're ready to go! For a truly authentic taste you can dip them in sodium hydroxide, or if you prefer, you could use a different bath.

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Re: Pretzel Crust?
« Reply #63 on: March 06, 2014, 11:39:32 AM »
If anyone is interested this is a new article from Tom Lehmann on creating a Pretzel Pizza Crust.  http://www.pmq.com/March-2014/Creating-a-Pretzel-Pizza-Crust/

Norma