Author Topic: Pretzel Dough  (Read 23005 times)

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Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2006, 12:33:13 PM »
I just wanted to add a cautionary note to those of you making your own lye solutions using crystal (Dry) sodium hydroxide. The rule of thumb is always mix acids and bases SLOWLY a little at a time. In this case you would *sprinkle* just a few crystals into some water and stir it in until it dissolves. Continue this slowly until all the NaOH is dissolved. The process of dissolving a solid base in an acid (water) is a chemical reaction. It will generate HEAT and VAPORS. Depending how concentrated it is, it can also dissolve spatulas, etc. I would suggest mixing it in a glass bowl and only use high quality stainless steel utensils. Also, be VERY careful not to inhale the vapors or the dry crystals. This stuff can really scar/burn your lungs, make you blind (if it gets in your eyes) and burn your skin. Read all the precautionary literature that comes with the stuff. Last but not least, if you have children BE THE PARENT. Don't store this stuff where children can get into it. I personally do not keep mine in the kitchen, because I fear someone mistaking it for salt or sugar and "tasting" it to see. Be Safe with this stuff, it's a serious matter!


Offline John39840

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2006, 03:48:02 PM »
I too believe there's a huge difference between food grade lye and grocery store lye; or at least, I wouldn't want to unexpectedly come to realize the difference. :) Something used as a lab solution isn't going to be tested as carefully for harmful impurities or contaminants. And while lye itself isn't poisonous, per se, it can be dangerous, and possibly contain other harmful or deadly things. So I personally would only ever buy something labeled as food grade for the kitchen.

Although, I've been using lye to brown my bagels for a few years. Baking soda just never made as much a significant a difference in the taste and appearance of my bagels. I started using lye, and suddenly my bagels took on the appearance of a typical NYC water bagel. Another secret of bagel dough is the use of barley malt powder, for taste, coloring, and browning abilities. I'd also imagine a pretzel dough might also contain barley malt powder/syrup, and some egg in its ingredients.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2006, 05:50:50 PM by John39840 »

Offline John39840

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2006, 03:50:59 PM »
All I can say is WOW!! I have never purchased a commercial product, just add water and had such a perfect product. If you like soft pretzels, this is the real deal. It doesn't get any better than this folks. I am convinced now that for the real taste, you need sodium hydroxide. Baking soda just doesn't cut it. Here are some shots of normal ones, then oversized ones (2X the dough).

Wow! These look awesome!  :chef: You've convinced me to give pretzels a try. I already have bagel salt. The bagel shop in my area is always kind enough to sell me a few pounds.

Offline PizzaPolice

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2006, 04:20:56 PM »
MMmmm!  Them pretzels look tasty!
***scratch***scratch***scribble...scribble***   Great!  One more thing I have learn to do.
DNA DAN. Can you give details about the solution strength and overall process?
Thanks.

Offline PizzaBrewer

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2006, 07:36:16 PM »
In case y'all are interested, what the lye does is break down the starch on the surface of the dough into sugars.  Just like the enzymes during the dough retard process, only chemically and at a much faster rate than enzymes can do.  During baking the sugars on the surface of the dough combine with amino acids to create the brown color.

And also, laboratory grade is actually more pure and refined than food grade.  Lab grade chemicals are also typically much more expensive than food grade.

Those pretzels look great!

---Guy
Man does not live by bread alone.  There's also tomato, cheese and pepperoni.

Offline Harv

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2006, 05:32:54 AM »
And also, laboratory grade is actually more pure and refined than food grade.  Lab grade chemicals are also typically much more expensive than food grade.
---Guy

Laboratory grade is not a specific designation.  If you look at a common chemical such as sodium hydroxide from a chemical supply house such as Sigma-Aldrich you will find they sell dozens of variations.  Some are more pure than food grade but just as many are less pure.

Offline John39840

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2006, 12:17:42 PM »
"This is so wrong, it couldn't be farther from the truth. Lye is lye is lye. There is no difference chemically between the lye used for food processing and the lye used for cleaning drains: the difference is SOLELY in the concentration of the lye solution."

I was basically taking exception with this comment.... if not just for the safety of anyone reading.

It's not even so much about the purity, but the differences in testing standards. As has been stated, food grade is going to conform to a FCC standard for human consumption. And if I understand correctly, there are several different grades of purity for laboratory chemicals, from commercial, and standard to ultra pure, anywhere from 85% to 99.9% pure. Commercial grade is probably what most stores sell as common household lye, included with other additives... for instance the Red Devil brand. But even the purest laboratory grade chemical probably won't be tested for heavy metals and other contaminants. And it's possible that harmful trace elements could remain as part of the manufacturing process of laboratory grade materials.

Offline PizzaBrewer

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2006, 06:44:37 PM »
Laboratory grade is not a specific designation.  If you look at a common chemical such as sodium hydroxide from a chemical supply house such as Sigma-Aldrich you will find they sell dozens of variations.  Some are more pure than food grade but just as many are less pure.

OK, if you want to be picky, it's called reagent grade.

Since the term "laboratory grade" was already mentioned I went with that.

Laboratory use of sodium hydroxide (for instance, titration of acidity) requires greater purity and exactness of concentration than does food applications.

---Guy
Man does not live by bread alone.  There's also tomato, cheese and pepperoni.

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2006, 12:45:54 AM »
MMmmm!  Them pretzels look tasty!
***scratch***scratch***scribble...scribble***   Great!  One more thing I have learn to do.
DNA DAN. Can you give details about the solution strength and overall process?
Thanks.

The mix is already to go. You just add water and compressed yeast (You can also substitute ADY instead) basically the process is like this:

1) Make the dough up.
2) Let it rest for 5-10 minutes
3) Roll it out into long strands, make the pretzel shape. (The dough is VERY elastic!)
4) Retard the pretzels in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. (The preztels looks very stale and dry afer about an hour.)
5) Dip in lye solution. (By my calculations it comes out to about 3% W/V or ~0.8 Molar solution NaOH)
6) Place on a greased stainless steel sheet. (NaOH will destroy teflon pans)
7) Sprinkle with pretzel salt.
8) Bake for 10 minues @ 400F

That's it. Its pretty foolproof as long as you have the right ingredients. That was the first batch I ever made and it was truly the real deal. Just like a hot pretzel you would get at a sporting event.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2006, 05:46:45 PM by DNA Dan »

Offline Harv

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2006, 05:35:14 AM »
PizzaBrewer-

I wasn't trying to be picky and I'm sorry you interpreted it that way.  I just didn't want someone ordering chemicals from a lab supply place without realizing the varying grades that are available.

DNA Dan- Thanks for posting the steps you used and the concentration of the lye solution.  I'll definitely be making some pretzels in the near future.  Why do you say NaOH will hurt Teflon?  Teflon bottles can be used to store strong acids and bases.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2006, 05:50:41 AM by Harv »


Offline John39840

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2006, 05:56:27 AM »
PizzaBrewer-

I wasn't trying to be picky and I'm sorry you interpreted it that way.  I just didn't want someone ordering chemicals from a lab supply place without realizing the varying grades that are available.

Same here. I hope we could all agree that using laboratory chemicals in food preparation isn't wise, and can even be potentially harmful. Either USP/NF or FCC grade should be fine for cooking. You might even be able to find a small bottle of USP lye at your local pharmacy.

Offline John39840

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #31 on: October 02, 2006, 06:16:15 AM »
I was just reading Rose Levy Beranbaum's most excellent "The Bread Bible." For anyone wanting to make their own dough, she suggests a 51% water ratio for pretzels. And while the book doesn't contain a recipe for pretzels, per se, she does include a great recipe for pretzel bread, including bakers percentages.

The Dough Percentage
-----------------------------------------------------------
Flour: 100% (bread:89.3%, whole wheat 10.7%)
Water: 51%
Yeast: 0.96%
Salt: 4.3%

Pretzel Bread recipe
-------------------------
8 ounces bread flour
1 ounce whole wheat
4.5 ounces of water
3/4 teaspoon yeast
1-1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon malt powder (optional)

She also suggests a 4% lye solution, prepared with salt and water: 1tsp of lye and a 1/2tsp. salt per 1 liquid cup. You want to use the lye in a nonreactive container.

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #32 on: October 02, 2006, 12:28:04 PM »
PizzaBrewer-

DNA Dan- Thanks for posting the steps you used and the concentration of the lye solution.  I'll definitely be making some pretzels in the near future.  Why do you say NaOH will hurt Teflon?  Teflon bottles can be used to store strong acids and bases.

I say that because that's what happened. The pretzels I made were stuck to the pan. After I managed to pry them off and clean the pan, I could see imprints of the pretzel on the pan. It wasn't this way just because I scraped them off, the teflon actually looked like it was chemically dissolved a little bit. (Look closely at the photos and you might see how the teflon is light gray and not dark grey like when you first buy a teflon coated pan.) It ruined the teflon surface of the pans. I don't know if the concentration of ~3% was too much for it to handle. I mean in lab terms ~0.8M NaOH is still fairly concentrated and will burn your skin.

The recipe calls for "Greased silicon paper" which I later found out is similar to the baking paper that I have been using for my pizzas (a parchment type paper). I found a recipe on the internet that called for using Beeswax on a stainless steel sheet, but I have not personally tried that. They too listed the "magic" ingredient as "Red Devil Lye" which is essentially drain cleaner.

In terms of chemical classifications and grades, just order the FCC type and be done with it. Why risk injury or making yourself sick? I have found a couple places now that offer the FCC NaOH. Sure you could probably use a lot of other things, but those standards are in place for a reason. Rather than try to elucidate why, just get the stuff that is meant for human consumption.
 

Offline Lydia

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #33 on: October 02, 2006, 04:58:51 PM »

Quote
Bake for 10 minues @ 400C



Dan was that a typo or am I just showing my ignorance?

IF not then I would venture to say that the oven temp 400C =  752F was a factor in the telfon destruction. At least that has been my experience.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline Harv

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #34 on: October 02, 2006, 05:23:07 PM »
Dan,

You mentioned the concentration and that got me thinking about the situation in the oven.  The solution was originally ~0.8M but in the oven as the water evaporates the solution becomes more and more concentrated.  Interesting stuff.  Thanks for your response: I can see what you mentioned in the pictures.  Gotta love chemistry.

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #35 on: October 02, 2006, 05:41:53 PM »


Dan was that a typo or am I just showing my ignorance?

IF not then I would venture to say that the oven temp 400C =  752F was a factor in the telfon destruction. At least that has been my experience.


LOL. I guess I have been in the lab too long! We use degrees C all the time. The pretzels were baked at 400F. Thanks for catching that!

I concur with what Harv stated. Once I dipped the pretzels you're supposed to let them "drain". I did that, yet you can't help but get SOME liquid directly on the pan. If it's on the dough, it chemically reacts with the starches as Pizzabrewer so eloquently described. NaOH left on the pan only gets more and more concentrated until it evaporates (Or glues your pretzels to the pan!). I have checked a few sources and confirmed the concentration of the NaOH I used was exactly 0.75 Molar.

Offline SemperFi

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2007, 10:58:57 AM »
Here is a great recipe that I have tried before.  It is from "The Professional Pastry Chef" by Bo Friburg.  He is a Certified Master Baker.  The only down side to this recipe, after the first day, the pretzels are so-so.  I tried reheating them in a toaster oven, but it still wasn't the same.  Instead of lye, I used a Baking Soda solution.  And I made half this recipe and yielded if I remember right, 12 NY sized pretzels.  By the way, if you prefer crunchy pretzels, don't float them in the solution, just pop them in the oven, and make them slightly smaller.

Makes 30 3 oz traditional pretzels

1 oz (30g)                  fresh compressed yeast
1 qt (960ml)               warm water (105-115 deg)
4 tsp (20g)                 salt
2 Tbs (30g)                 granulated sugar
1 oz (30g)                  caraway seeds (optional)
3# 12 oz (1kg, 705g) bread flour
                                   melted butter
                                   Baking Soda Solution
                                  Coarse salt

1.  Dissolve yeast in the warm water.  Add the salt, sugar and caraway seeds if desired.  Gradually mix in enough of the flour to make a stiff dough.  Knead at medium speed with the dough hook, adding the remaining flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
2.  Place the dough in a well buttered bowl.  Turn the dough to butter all sides.  Cover and set aside in a warm place until doubled in volume, approx 45 minutes.
3.  Brush melted butter over 3 half sheet pans lined with foil. Reserve.
4.  Punch down the dough and divide it into 3 equal pieces approx 1# 12oz (795g) each.  Roll each piece into a rope 20 inches (50cm) long.  Cut each rope into 10 equal pieces.
5.  Pound and roll each of the smaller pieces into a 20 inch (50cm) tapered string.  Form the strings into the pretzel shape, and place them onto a lightly floured board.  Let the gluten in the pretzel relax for 2-4 minutes. Then stretch each one to make it approx 7X4 inches (17.5X10cm).
6.  Bring the baking soda solution to a boil.  Drop 2 or 3  pretzels into the solution and boil for 1 minute AFTER they float to the surface.  Remove them carefully with a slotted spoon and transfer to the buttered sheet pan.
7.  As each sheet pan is filled, sprinkle coarse salt over the pretzels.
8.  Bake at 475 deg (246C) until dark brown, approx 20 minutes.  Remove and cool on a baking rack.

Baking Soda Solution

2qts (1L, 920ml) water
3 Tbs (36g) baking soda
1 Tbs (15g) salt

1.  Combine all ingredients in a large saute pan or rondeau, boil and follow recipe direction.

Also, it says that pretzels are traditionally dipped in a 5% solution of sodium hydroxide (1qt water with 1.5 oz sodium hydroxide).  Pretzels are not boiled with this solution, but rather dipped into a warm solution using gloves.
Adam

Offline nepa-pizza-snob

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2007, 11:19:07 PM »
ok so has any one got the real deal ny bagel recipe? and can you confirm the use of barley
malt powder (ok) and lye (umm is it really necessary?)

Pizzabrewer - what might the use of liquid wheat malt extract contribute to a pretzel or bagel recipe
over malted barley extract in terms of color / flavor? its all just sugar right? could you venture a guess as to what would be an acceptable addition volume or weight?

« Last Edit: February 02, 2007, 11:24:25 PM by nepa-pizza-snob »

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2007, 12:05:52 PM »
ok so has any one got the real deal ny bagel recipe? and can you confirm the use of barley
malt powder (ok) and lye (umm is it really necessary?)

Pizzabrewer - what might the use of liquid wheat malt extract contribute to a pretzel or bagel recipe
over malted barley extract in terms of color / flavor? its all just sugar right? could you venture a guess as to what would be an acceptable addition volume or weight?

My feeling is that for all breads of this type, soft pretzels, bagels, etc. where the exterior is soft, sweet, yet golden brown, LYE is a MUST. I have seen products made using baking soda and the results are inferior. I personally don't feel you can produce a commercial quality product using baking soda.

Nepa-pizza-snoob, give up on making a recipe and use a commercial product. If you are interested I can give provide you a place to order a bagel base mix that you just add water, yeast and flour to. You would of course have to do the lye dip, but if the bagels base is anything remotely close to the pretzel mix I bought there, you will be in heaven sooner than you think.

Offline petef

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Re: Pretzel Dough
« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2007, 09:49:49 AM »
Hi Everyone,
Below is my own version of the soft pretzel recipe in great detail so that
anyone can duplicate my results. It's pretty good so far but I'd still like
to make improvements. Try it and see what you think. Any suggestions
for making them better would be appreciated. I like to make them more
chewy and dense and less bread like.

BTW: The main difference here compared to other recipes in this thread
is that I'm using the baking soda bath and an egg wash to achieve the
brown hard crust. I use honey instead of sugar and a bit of olive oil
more for health reasons than taste.

---pete---



      Title: Soft Street Vendor Pretzels
 Categories: Breads, snacks, pretzels
      Yield: 24 Pretzels

   3 1/2 cups        Bread Flour - Sifted
     3/4 cups        Wheat Flour - Sifted
       1 cup         Water (105 - 115 degrees F.)
       1 package     Active dry yeast (1/4 oz package)
       2 tablespoons Honey
     1/2 teaspoon    Salt (for dough)
     1/2 teaspoon    Garlic Powder
   2 1/2 tablespoons Butter - Melted
     1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil - Mild Virgin
         a/r         1 egg for Egg wash solution - (optional)
         a/r         Solution of 3 cups Water & 3 teaspoons Baking soda
         a/r         Coarse salt (for topping)
         a/r         Mild Virgin Olive (for greasing bowl)

Utensils:
   * Pyrex Measure - 1 Quart size (for flour)
   * Small 4oz cup for sugar & salt
   * Small microwavable cup for softening butter.
   * Beater
   * Large Spatula Knife for mixing dough.
   * Screen type Sifter/Strainer
   * Thermometer - Range, +100 to 120 degrees F.
   * Dough knife for cutting dough.
   * 4 to 6 quart Glass bowl or Stainless Steel Pot (No Aluminum!)
   * Non-Aluminum baking pan.
   * Slotted spoon for dipping Pretzels in solution.
   * Small 4oz cup for egg wash.
   * Bristol Brush for egg wash.
   * Scale for weighing Dough.
   * Parchment paper

Note: Makes a chewy soft pretzel: The type bought from a street vendor.

Make the dough
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 1.) Measure out all the ingredients and set aside...

     - Sift & measure Flour to 1 quart sized measure.

     - Salt & Garlic Powder to small cup.

     - Olive oil and Honey

     - Butter to small microwavable cup.

     - Water to large glass bowl (9" dia. I. D.).

     - Use beater to combine Water & Baking Soda solution in the 4 to 6
       quart glass, Pyrex or Stainless Steel Pot (DO NOT USE Aluminum!)
       This pot is needed for stovetop boiling later. No not heat water yet.

       Caution: Do not use an aluminum pot or pan for this!

 2.) Place butter in microwave and heat at full power until softened.
     (Microwave about 12 seconds per tablespoon).

 3.) Place the large glass bowl which now contains the water (for dough)
     into the microwave oven and heat on full power until water
     temperature reaches 105 - 115 degrees F.
     (Microwave about 20 seconds per 1/2 cup water)

 4.) Mix water using beater and re-measure temperature to ensure that
     the temperature is uniform and stable. Then, add the active dry yeast
     and mix until completely dissolved.

 5.) As soon as yeast is dissolved, add the salt & garlic powder,
     olive oil & honey, and the softened butter. Use beater to mix well.

 6.) Add half the sifted all-purpose flour and use beater to beat for at
     least 3 minutes until dough becomes somewhat smooth in texture.
 
 7.) Stir in, 90 percent of the remaining sifted all-purpose flour and
     mix using the large spatula until a loose dough begins to form.

 8.) Use hands to knead the dough until is loses its stickiness and
     becomes uniform in texture.
       
       Note: At this point the dough will feel slightly moist to
             the touch but not really sticky. It will have some
             elasticity but overall more like cookie dough
             than pizza dough.

 9.) Clean out the glass bowl used to mix the dough and sprinkle some Oil
     into the bowl. Use the dough to spread oil, coating the bowl as well
     as all surfaces of the dough. Place dough in bowl.

 10.) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap allow dough to double in size.
      (Allow about 45 minutes to 1.25 hours).

Divide the dough
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  Note: Recipe yield of 24 Pretzels will produce about 36 ounces
        (weighed measure) of dough. Each pretzel made of 1.5 ounce
        pieces of dough for Twisted Stick style. For Figure-Eight
        pretzels use 2 ounces of dough for each pretzel.
 
 1.) Punch down and divide into equal pieces per recipe yield.
     NOTE: 1.5 oz is the best size for Twisted Stick style pretzels
     and using a 4 cup glass pot for dipping in baking soda bath.


Forming a "Twisted Stick" style pretzels
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 1.) Using just your palms and then a large flat dry surface,
     roll the dough pieces into about 7 to 8 inch lengths about the
     thickness of your finger (5/8" to 3/4").

 2.) Cut into equal lengths using dough knife.
     Then roll the pieces into 6 to 7 inch lengths
     about pencil thickness (3/8" to 1/2")

 3.) Grab 2 equal sized pieces and hold vertically in one hand while
     you twist the pieces together to form one twisted pair about 5 to 6"
     such that it fits into the pot. Pinch and squeeze the ends to form
     a rounded or squared off end.

 4.) Place formed pretzels on a greased baking sheet and allow to
     let rise until almost doubled in bulk. Best to cover them with
     plastic wrap. Allow about 30 to 60 minutes to rise.
   
     Notes:

     -Allowing to rise UNCOVERED results in less rise with smooth outer crust.

     -Allowing to rise COVERED WITH PLASTIC WRAP results in more rise
      with a fluffy body and textured soft outer crust. Best method!


Forming those classic "Figure-Eight" style pretzels
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 1.) Using just your palms and then a large flat dry surface,
     roll the dough pieces into 14 to 18 inch lengths about pencil
     thickness (3/8" to 1/2"), tapering the ends slightly.

 2.) Loop each length into a twisted oval and pinch the ends
     into the lower portion of the pretzel.
 
 3.) Place formed pretzels on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or
     or a greased baking sheet and allow to let rise until almost
     doubled in bulk. (Allow 30 to 60 minutes to rise)

     Notes:

     -Allowing to rise UNCOVERED results in less rise with smooth outer crust.

     -Allowing to rise COVERED WITH PLASTIC WRAP results in more rise
      with a fluffy body and textured soft outer crust. Best method!


Cook the pretzels
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 1.) Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

 2.) As soon as oven reaches temperature, heat the Water &
     Baking soda solution to simmering. Then shut off the heat.

      Caution: Do not use an aluminum pot or pan for any of this!

 3.) Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower each pretzel into the water
     for a few seconds. Roll it in the solution to get all sides wet.
     Then roll it off the spoon and onto the parchment paper lined baking
     sheet or greased baking sheet.

 4.) Repeat step 3 for each pretzel.

 5.) Brush each pretzel with a light coat of egg wash solution.

       Method: Crack an egg into small cup scramble it.
               Use bristle brush to apply egg wash to each pretzel.

 6.) Sprinkle pretzels with the Coarse salt immediately to get best adherence.

 7.) Place baking pan on upper rack in oven. Bake until crispy
     and browned -- Bake about 12 minutes.


Storage & Serving & Re-heating
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 * Best when served Hot & fresh.
 
 * These will keep about one week in an airtight container at room temperature.
   Cool before storing.

 * These will keep for months in the Freezer.
   To reheat, microwave until the whole pretzel is hot and soft, then
   pop immediately into a preheated toaster oven set to TOAST until
   the pretzel begins to brown slightly more. Remove immediately.
   Almost good as fresh baked!
 
 
---enjoy---

« Last Edit: November 25, 2007, 09:56:54 AM by petef »