It's Secret Recipe Club time again, and June's assignment is Karen Cooks. Karen blogs from Montana and has all sorts of great recipes that we'd love to try, including chicken marsala, grilled pineapple guacamole, venison stew, and a really tasty looking cheesecake.
After reviewing Karen's recipe index, I knew exactly what we were going to make right away. Soft pretzels. We'd conquered bagels in a previous month, and it was time for the next baking challenge.
We only changed a couple of things out of necessity: we ran out of white flour, so we substituted in 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, and, and instead of Kosher salt, we substituted some lime-infused sea salt were were given as a gift for such a special occasion.
Forming the pretzels was fun as well. Our eldest son used the pretzels as an opportunity to shape them into numbers.
These pretzels are best served immediately and don't fare well as next-day offerings. That wasn't a problem for us - they were gone by the end of the evening.
2 cups white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp yeast
3/4 to 1 cup warm water
1 cup warm water
4 tbsp baking soda
3 tbsp butter, melted
- Prepare the topping (soda wash): in a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water and 4 tbsp baking soda and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve baking soda and let cool.
- Start the dough: place all ingredients for the dough in a stand-mixer bowl using a paddle attachment and mix on low. When a ball starts to form, switch to a dough hook and knead for 5 minutes or until dough is soft and smooth and no longer sticky.
- Put dough into a greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 500-degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick lining.
- Transfer dough to a pastry mat and divide into 8 pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Roll each piece of dough into a long rope and shape into a pretzel (or numbers as we did). Dip each pretzel into the soda wash and place onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt, cover in plastic and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes, until the pretzels are a golden brown (note: keep a close eye on them - ours were slightly over-done).
- After baking, immediately brush with melted butter and serve.
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