When I first saw the challenge for We Knead to Bake of this month by Aparna, I was sure that they are very difficult to make.. so I kept on sort of delaying them, but since I had not done last month's bread also and everybody's pretzels were looking so delicious and yummy I thought of tring them myself. Making the doiugh in a food processor is very easy (This I have learnt from Aparna). Keep the dough for rising ...shape them....dip them in soda bath...and bake them.....AND they R Ready..!!! Soft, Easy and delicious pretzels....!!
2 1/2 tsp dried active yeast
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup warm milk
3 cups + 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
(For Soda Bath)
6 cups water
2 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp cornmeal or semolina
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 tbsp chille flakes
1. Take the yeast and sugar in a bowl and mix them with warm milk and allow that to stand for about 5 minutes.
2. Take the flour, salt and the yeast mixture in a food processor and make the dough by adding milk to it.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
4.Form the dough into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl, turning to coat the dough with oil. Cover and allow the dough to rise for about 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
5.Deflate the dough, cover and let it rest 5 minutes. Divide dough into 12 equal portions.
6.Roll each portion into an 18-inch-long rope with tapered ends. Cross one end of rope over the other to form a circle, leaving about 4 inches at end of each rope. Twist the rope at the base of the circle. Fold the ends over the circle and into a traditional pretzel shape, pinching gently to seal. Place pretzels on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise 10 minutes (pretzels will rise only slightly).
7. Put the 6 cups of water and baking soda in a non-aluminium pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer. Gently lower a pretzel into the simmering water. Cook on each side for about 15 seconds. The pretzel will swell/ puff up a bit. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place on a greased wire rack. This will prevent the pretzel from sticking to the rack. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.
8.Place the pretzels on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal or semolina. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 220C (425F) for 12 minutes or until pretzels are deep golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
9. Serve warm with a dip of your choice or just plain. They’re best eaten fresh, and on the same day. This recipe makes 12 Pretzels.