With Oktoberfest about to start up next week I decided to try my hand at making Soft Pretzels. I was wanting to try this even before Blair (Oly Smokes) and shmick posted theirs but their cooks pushed me even more as these will go great with my “Cook Your Heritage!” Entry.
Here are most of the Ingredients:
1 cup Milk (warmed to approx. 105 degrees)
2 tbsp. Sugar
2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
2 tbsp. Butter Softened
2 1/2 Cups AP Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Water
1 1/2 tbsp. Baking Soda
Pretzel Salt (To Taste)
2 tbsp. Melted Butter
YouTube Recipe can be found here: (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYewgtCpmsI)
Here are the dough ingredients mixed and proofing.
Here it is after proofing for 90 minutes. (Easily doubled in size)
Now on my pastry mat pressed down and kneaded for a minute.
Formed into a ball
and divided into sixth’s.
First piece rolled into a rope approximately 22” long.
Formed into a U shaped.
and then again
and finally take the 2 ends and bring them up to meet the top of the pretzel and lightly pinched.
I put the 6 completed pretzels on a tray with parchment paper and took them out to my gas side burner which the water and baking soda solution with I had boiled.
I dipped each pretzel in the solution for 10 to 15 seconds per side and then put them on a greased sheet and then placed them on my pizza stone. If I had placed them closer I could’ve gotten all 6 on at once but I wanted some space between them so I only got 5 to start. After they had cooked for 7 minutes I then moved them around a little to make space for the 6th pretzel.
And here it is plated with some Horseradish Mustard.
By John Setzler
Since it's football season and game day food is definitely on the minds of grill owners, I have decided to show you a game day treat that will absolutely surpass anything you have ever bought in a ball park! You gotta try these pretzel wrapped cheddar brats! Recipe: Pretzel Wrapped Cheddar Brats Pretzel Dough Ingredients: 3 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 package of active dry yeast 2/3 cup beer 1/2 cup water 1/4 cup vegetable oil Other Ingredients: Johnsonville Cheddar Brats (up to 12 for this recipe) Freshly grated asaigo cheese 6 cups water 2 tablespoons baking soda 1 beaten egg 1 tablespoon water Kosher Salt Directions: Preheat your grill to 400°F. In a saucepan, warm up the beer, water and vegetable oil to about 120°F and set aside. In your mixer bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients and install the dough hook on your mixer. Mix with the dough hook for about 5 minutes on a medium speed until a dough ball forms and pulls away clean from the side of the mixer bowl. Transfer dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover with plastic and let rise for 60 to 90 minutes until doubled in size. Remove from bowl to floured work surface. Cut dough in half. Cut each half into six equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a rope about 18" long. Wrap the dough rope around each of the cheddar brats. Dissolve the baking soda into the 6 cups of water and bring to a boil in a sauce pan. When you reach a boil, reduce the heat and bathe each wrapped cheddar brat in the water for 60 seconds and set aside. Mix the beaten egg with 1 tablespoon of water and baste each of the cheddar brats with the egg wash mixture. Sprinkle each brat with kosher salt. Grill for 15 to 17 minutes until the pretzel dough is golden brown. During the last two minutes of the cook, grate some fresh asaigo cheese on top. Serve these with some dijon mustard and a cold beer on the side!
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
• 1 T. yeast (or 1 package) dissolved for 5 minutes in 1/4 c. warm water and 2 tsp. sugar (proofed)
• 4 1/4 c. bread flour
• 11/4 c. warm water
• 2 tsp. salt
• 2 1/2 T. salted butter
• Plastic gloves & Safety goggles
• 1 oz. food-grade lye, dissolved in 1 quart of water
• Salt, large flakes like Kosher salt
Lye, or caustic soda burns skin and eyes and gloves and safety glasses are recommended when making this pretzel recipe. Not recommended for baking with children (kinder).
USE EXTREME CAUTION: Lye is caustic and a 3% solution is considered corrosive. Always use gloves and safety glasses. Wearing long sleeves, pants and close-toed shoes is recommended.
Measure the flour into a mixing bowl, add the salt and the proofed yeast and 1 cup of warm water. Mix by hand or with a stand mixer with dough hook until flour mixture comes together into a stiff ball. Add water as needed to form dough.
Knead for 5 minutes, let rest for a few minutes and then add the butter and knead for at least 5 more minutes, or until butter is fully incorporated. At this time, the dough should be firm and soft, velvety to the touch.
Form into a ball, butter all surfaces and let rise until double, about 1 hour in a warm spot.
Wipe up spills with paper towels and dispose immediately. Rinse with water or vinegar. Rinse all utensils and gloves with large amounts of water and wash arms and hands after working with the solution. If you feel anything burning on the skin, rewash with soap and water, rinse and dry.
Place wax paper on a baking sheet.
Degas the dough (punch down) and divide into 12, 2 ounce pieces. Form into balls. Using very little flour, form balls into 1-foot long strands, thicker in the middle and tapering towards the ends. I use water to make the dough slightly sticky. This helps with shaping.
Take each strand and roll out again to form 2-foot strands. Twist into pretzel shape, using a little water again to make the ends stick to the loop. Pretzel bakers can flip pretzels into shape, but I have to coax them.
A good, German Brezel is thick and soft in the middle, thin and crunchy but not dry on the arms, or ends and splits the loop of dough into three equal parts. The picture shows amateur pretzels lacking these traits.
Place the pretzels on the baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour. This dries out the surface and makes them easier to handle.
Make the lye solution: Don gloves and goggles. Place 1 quart of water in a plastic or glass container, weigh 1 ounce of food grade or reagent grade sodium hydroxide into a bowl and add slowly to the water, stirring with a plastic spoon or similar object. ALWAYS ADD THE LYE TO THE WATER! For scientists: The lye solution will be approximately 0.75 M NaOH (FW 39.99g/mol) or almost 3% w/w.
Remove from refrigerator and dip each for 30 seconds in the lye solution. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on greased or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle pretzel with salt. Make a deep cut through the thick part of the pretzel horizontally with a razor blade or lamé. Let pretzels rest for 15 minutes.
Heat BBQ to 375°F. Bake pretzels for 20-25 minutes, or until deep golden brown.
Dispose of lye solution according to county and state hazardous waste regulations.