A type of baked bread product commonly shaped into a twisted knot and sprinkled with salt is called a Pretzel. They are the world’s oldest snack food with two common options of a soft and a hard version.
Its’ defining characteristics are two unique looped knot shape. The typical pretzel has a pleasant cracker-like flavor, a crisp brittle texture and a brown glossy surface color. Salt crystals are often sprinkled before baking on its egg washed surface to make them taste more appealing. Pretzels have a moisture content between 2-4% and therefore have a very long shelf life.
Prep time: 15 mins 1st proof: 1 hour Bake time: 15 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
Yields: 8 pretzels
Serves: 4 pax
- 1-1/2 cups of warm water
- 1 Tablespoon of sugar
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 2-1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 4-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of baking soda
- 1 egg
- extra salt -garnish
- extra flour
Important tools used:
- Mixing bowl
- measuring spoons/cups
- cling foil
- pastry brush
- an oven
- silicon mat /OR/ Parchment paper
- Baking trays
- metallic spatula
Step 1: Activate the yeast
In a large bowl, add the warm water + salt + sugar = dissolve part of it. Add in the yeast, leave it for 5 mins to get foamy.
Step 2: Make the dough
In the yeast mixture, add in the flour + vegetable oil = mix everything first with a spatula or wooden spoon, then switch to your clean hands and knead for 4 to 8 mins. NB: A little trick I use when making soft bread recipe while kneading the dough is, instead of adding flour to tone down the stickiness, I use vegetable oil. The oil will add in more moisture as opposed to the flour. The flour will stiffen the dough.
Step 3: 1st proofing = 1 hour
Cover the bowl with a cling foil and set it in a warm spot for the dough to double in size.
Step 4: Divide and loop it.
Lightly dust your clean counter top or work surface with flour. Place the risen dough onto the work surface. Cut the dough into half, then each half into four pieces making the total to eight pieces. Watch the video above to guide you.
Step 5: Making a baking soda bath
Preheat oven -230 C. Add water to a sauce pan and bring it to a simmer. Add in the baking soda to foam a bath. Place each pretzel dough immersed in the bath for 10 seconds each. This step helps develop a skin on the dough which make the pretzels be more gummy, sticky and give it a chewy texture once baked. Once it starts floating, remove it and place them onto your baking tray aligned with either a parchment paper or silicon mat.
Step 6: Bake = 15 mins
Step 7: Cool = 30 mins
Step 8: Serve and enjoy.