Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pretzel food porn


I gotta say, having a man who enjoys experimenting with food is just fan-freaking-tastic. It means I get to eat delicious food on a pretty regular basis and it means I generally only have to pick up the groceries and do the prep work, while he does all of the actual cooking.
Case in point: homemade pretzels. All I did was pick up the yeast, brush on the egg yolk and sprinkle on salt and sesame seeds. The rest was done for me. And look how beautiful they turned out. 

They say food is the way to a man's heart, but if you ask me, food is the way to all hearts. I'm pretty sure if we had shown up on any door step tonight with a homemade pretzel in hand, we easily would have made instant friends with all of the recipients.


I know making pretzels seems like a lot of work and I also know I just admitted to doing very little of it, but seriously it's not THAT hard and it's so worth it. When they're still warm and you dip them in homemade garlic mayo you won't regret a minute you spent preparing these little morsels of happiness. So, if you want to make your own, here's whatcha do.

First you acquire these ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pans
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt

And then, you follow these steps:
1. Combine the warm water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. 
2.Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. (This can also be done with your hands. We don't own a mixer, but we make it work.) 
3. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
5. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
6. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan. (We don't use parchment paper, we just put them on a tray.)
7. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, one-by-one, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula.
8. Place on an oiled baking sheet, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt and sesame seeds (if you so desire).
9. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.


I know it seems like a lot of steps, but I have faith that everyone can make beautiful crispy on the outside, soft on the inside pretzels using this recipe. (By the way, it came from the Food Network. The people over there totally know what they're doing, so trust me and them and make yourself a delicious savory treat. Oh! And don't forget the garlic mayo - mayo, crushed garlic, pepper and paprika.)

On that note, Happy Easter everyone.
I'm taking the rest of the weekend off to enjoy Vancouver. See you next week!

1 comment:

  1. omg.. these looks SO good! soft pretzels are one of my favorite snack foods.. with cheese though!

    ReplyDelete