Sourdough Pretzels


Recently, Tucker has been doing a lot of experimenting with sourdough. We've had a strange, pulsing, smelly sourdough starter living in a mason jar in the kitchen for several weeks now. I'm willing to forgive this strange creature only because it leads to delicious creations! The latest was PRETZELS. Actually, they were easier to make than I expected, they are similar to bagels (which we've made in the past) but actually a bit easier.

Tucker was first inspired to try making pretzels when he read this Harold McGee article in the New York Times.
Sour dough pretzels
Sourdough Pretzels
With help from Mark Bittman, Harold McGee, and the King Arthur Baker's Companion

FOR THE SOURDOUGH SPONGE
Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
1 1/2 cups tepid water
Sourdough starter (We learned how to do this from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything--we use the iPhone app, you can also use the cookbook)
Sour dough pretzels

Instructions
  1. The night before you are ready to make these, combine all ingredients in a food processor or bowl and mix until smooth. Cover and let rest overnight (it should bubble and foam a bit)
  2. Scoop out a few cups of the dough to save for your next sourdough adventure. You can keep starter in the fridge unless you want to continue feeding it daily.
FOR THE DOUGH
Ingredients
1-1 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tsp salt
1 spoonful brown sugar
Sourdough sponge you just made
1 cup baking soda
2 cups water
Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix flour, salt, sugar, and sponge in the food processor
  2. Pour out into a bowl and let rise for a few hours until doubled in volume
  3. While the dough is rising, prepare the alkali (this is what gives the pretzel that special pretzel quality): spread a layer of soda on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake it at 250 to 300 degrees for an hour. Try not to touch it if you can (although it won't kill you)
  4. Cut into 10-12 pieces, roll out, and form into ropes about 1/2 inch in diameter
  5. Fold them into pretzels
  6. Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 425.
  7. Dissolve baked baking soda (the alkali) in the water
  8. Immerse the formed raw pretzels in this solution for three to four minutes, rinse off the excess dipping solution in a large bowl of plain water
  9. Place pretzels on a baking sheet and sprinkle the pretzels with sea salt
  10. Bake at 425 for about 20 min (or until golden brown).

Comments

Jimmy said…
I loved those when I was small. I still do actually, we just make them rarely.

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