I was considering not posting this particular recipe, but I will get back to this in a bit….
Soft pretzels, they are the best. You know the ones that you can buy at the malls or…. They are warm and chewy and are covered with just the right amount of the coarse salt. I love the chewiness of the pretzel, which is probably the thing I like the most about them.
I tried making them a few years ago and they did not turn out at all. I had baked them and the chewiness was not there. Then I read a blog about homemade bagels and they said that you had to boil the bagels before you baked them in order to have that chewiness. I thought if it works for bagels it should work for pretzels. So yes I had to try making homemade pretzels again.
I thought I had found the secret and this time my pretzels would turn out just like the one that I love to buy. Wrong! They did not quite turn out to be that good. I can’t say that they were horrible or not edible because we ate some after they came out the oven and I did enjoy them to a point. But they just didn’t taste like the pretzels that I am accustom to. The pretzels were too heavy, it was more like eating bread. I think that they would have made excellent bagels rather than the pretzels.
Now I will get back about to the statement that I started out with in the beginning of my post. I was not going to add this recipe to my blog, since I was not thrilled with the pretzels. I had mentioned this to my daughter that I wouldn’t be adding this recipe at this time. And her comment to me made me change my mind. My daughter said that part of baking or cooking is experimenting and sometimes it just is not going to turn out the way you planned it to.
I am sure most or even all of you reading this have had a recipe not turn out the way that you had planned it to. So yes I am posting my pretzel “experiment” to my blog. Maybe someone will read this and they will have the perfect pretzel recipe and they will share it with me. Please!
Pretzels (Adapted from Crust Bread to get your teeth into by Richard Bertinet)
4 teaspoons yeast
7 to 8 cups flour
4 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup milk
3 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 egg mixed with a pinch of salt (1 hour before you need it, to make an egg wash)
a little vegetable oil
a little coarse salt such as kosher, for sprinkling (I used sea salt)
Mix all the ingredients together in your mixing bowl. The resulting dough will feel very stiff. Cover the bowl with a baking cloth and let it rest for 1 hour.
Very lightly flour your work surface. Divide the dough into 12 pieces.
Roll each piece with your fingers until it is around 8 inches long. Form into a heart shape by bringing the 2 ends to the center, crossing the right end over the left, bringing it back underneath, then laying the ends either side of the point of the hear.
Lay the pretzels on a greased baking tray and let rise, uncovered for 45-60 minutes.
Bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil. Cook pretzels for 30 seconds on each side. Use a slotted spoon and take out and let them drain.
Glaze with egg wash and sprinkle immediately with coarse salt, pressing it down into the dough a little.
Put them back on the grease pan and put the pretzels into the preheated 450 degree oven. Bake for 10-13 minutes until they are golden brown.
(Note: This dough was also used for bagels. I think this would make an excellent bagel).