I baked bread for the first time last week, and it miraculously turned out very well. So, I decided to take my daring a step further and attempt sourdough pretzels. BOY did these turn out well. I especially like my onion-topped pretzels, with just a dash of garlic salt. They're exactly how pretzels should be, though a bit smaller than I'm used to seeing. The original recipe makes 20 pretzels, so I cut all amounts in half since that seemed a bit much for two people. My boyfriend has requested I make these the next time he throws a football party, and that is testament to how good they are. --AnglophileLV
makes 10 pretzels, about 4 to 5 inches across, hard crust, soft center.
3/4 cups proofed starter
1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoons butter
1.5 tablespoons sugar (1/2 Tb = 1 and ½ tsp)
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 packet yeast
2 3/4ths cups all purpose flour
Toppings could include:
Kosher or sea salt
1. Let all ingredients and utensils come to room temperature
2. Add the 1 tablespoon butter, the 1.5 tablespoons sugar, and the 1 tsp salt to the cup of hot water. Cool to lukewarm.
3. Put the proofed starter and 1/2 packet yeast into a bowl. Add the warm water mixture. Make sure the water is not hot because that will kill the yeast.
4. Add 2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring after each addition.
5. Turn out onto a floured board and knead in approximately 3/4 cups more of the flour.
The dough will be very stiff.
6. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn over, and cover with a damp paper towel and a dish towel - you don't want the dough to dry out. Let rise for 2 hours. It helps if you put the dough in a warm place. I preheat the oven and place the bowl on top of the stove which seems to work well.
7. Break off pieces of the dough about the size of a large egg. Roll each piece out with the palm of your hands until it is about 18 inches long and about 1/2 inch in diameter. Twist into the shape of a pretzel.
8. Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. Drop as many pretzels as will fit without touching into the water and cook about 30 seconds after they have risen to the top. (Or longer, if you like a chewier pretzel.)
9. Remove to a baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt.
10. Bake in a preheated 425*F oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and cool on wire racks.