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Soft Baked Pretzels

By Lee Price on October 12, 2012 in Food

Photo: Bicking Graphics

Are you looking for a treat that works for any time of the day? Then look no further than the humble pretzel. But I’m not talking about your jumbo pack of crispy “these pretzels are making me thirsty” type pretzels. I’m all about the bigger, softer, more bread-like snacks that seem to be sold on every street corner in New York.

Whilst a salty pretzel is the traditional flavour, you can personalise to your hearts content with these bad boys. You could throw in a handful of choc chips for a dessert pretzel, coat them in an even mixture of sugar and cinnamon for the sweet tooth in the family, or try a half cup of sultanas for a faux healthy treat.

Better yet, try out a few different options within the one batch and see what takes your fancy. A word of warning though: don’t make these when you’re home alone. They are totally irresistible and I would know – I’ve just eaten six!

Ingredients (makes 12)

1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
½ teaspoon sugar
150ml warm milk
1 ½ cups plain white flour
½ teaspoon salt
30g butter, melted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
Coarse seat salt, to sprinkle
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional)

Directions

1. In a small jug or bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and warm milk. Allow to stand for ten minutes until frothy on top.
2. Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Pour in the melted butter and the milk mixture and bring the dough together into a ball with your hands.
3. On a floured work surface, knead the dough for eight minutes until soft and stretchy.
4. Place the dough back into your mixing bowl, cover it with olive oil and wrap the bowl in cling film. Allow to stand for an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
5. Line two trays with baking paper. Punch down your dough and knead again for two minutes until you feel it become soft and stretchy again. Split the mixture into 12 pieces, covering them with cling film until you need them.
6. Take one of your 12 pieces and roll it out by hand to around 40cm in length. Curve the dough into a horseshoe with the ends facing up. Pull the left end inwards and down across to the bottom right of the horseshoe. Press lightly to join the dough so that there is a little bit of dough hanging below the arch. Take the right end and tuck it under the left side, again allowing for a little dough to hang over the end to form the traditional pretzel shape. Place on the tray allowing plenty of room between each pretzel.
7. Once you have rolled all 12, cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 190°C.
8. After 30 minutes it’s time to coat the pretzels with the egg yolk and sprinkle with sea salt and sesame seeds (if using). Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy while still warm.

Have you got a great recipe that you would like to share? Send it through to operationjamjar@y7mail.com and you could see it in a future issue of The Beast. For more recipes and thrifty cooking ideas visit operationjamjar.blogspot.com.

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