Baking with Lucy

Home made pretzels

Good morning friends!

I hope everyone is keeping well and safe at the moment? Yesterday I planned to get all manner of things done and instead ended up doing other things as always happens.

Today however I plan to do those things and more but not before sharing with you my pretzels and the recipe from the last few days baking!

On Thursday evening I decided to get out the mixing bowl and start baking and since I had the ingredients for pretzels thought ‘why not’ and ended up making three different flavours.

I personally find them rather easy, however if you don’t do all the steps right you could find you fail, so make sure you read properly and do everything right.

Making sure the dough is nice and soft with a bit of a shine on it. This was my cinnamon dough and it’s now ready for proving.

After proving it should have doubled in size, this is my poppyseed and lemon dough and was originally half the size, it springs back had is quite ready for ‘rolling’.

After rolling and moulding making sure the air is knocked out they should l be placed onto a tray ready to dip into the bicarbonate is soda water (this gives them a glaze and also stops them puffing up too much more in the oven).

Once they’re cooked you can add glaze like I did or leave them ready for eating. These are my lemon and poppyseed & plain salted ones.

This is my cinnamon pretzel – probably my favourite of the three!

Recipe – from Paul Hollywood’s book

You will need for the mixture…

500g strong white bread flour

10g salt

7g fast-action dried yeast

40g unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon malt extract or molasses

280ml milk, at room temperature

Optional: cinnamon / lemon / poppyseeds / salt sprinkles

7 litres water

21g bicarbonate of soda

How to make them…

Step 1
To make the dough, put the flour, salt, yeast and butter into a large mixing bowl. Add the malt or molasses to the milk and stir well until dissolved (I put warm water in a bowl under this bowl to help them melt together). With your hand, gradually work the milk mixture into the flour, and keep mixing to make a stiff, non-sticky dough.

Step 2
Turn out the dough onto a worktop (the dough shouldn’t need any extra flour for kneading). Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and glossy. Divide it in half and put one half into an oiled bowl unless making one type them don’t do this. Add the zest and poppy seeds to the halved portion of dough and work in until evenly distributed. Put this dough into another oiled bowl. Cover both bowls with clingfilm and leave to prove for about 45 minutes until doubled in size.

Step 3
Heat your oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Turn out the plain dough onto the worktop and divide into 6 equal pieces. Take one piece and, using your hands, roll it back and forth to make a rope shape 40–50cm long, tapering the ends and creating a slight bulge in the centre. As you roll the dough rope, apply pressure to work it from the middle outwards, pushing out any air bubbles. You may find it easier to roll the rope part of the way, then leave it for a few minutes to relax before continuing the rolling to the full length – this helps prevent the rope from springing back and creating misshapen pieces. Shape the other 5 pieces of plain dough, then divide and roll the sweet orange dough in the same way.

Step 4
The traditional – and quickest – way to shape a pretzel is to take hold of each tapered end of the rope and lift them up to create a U shape. Then, without letting go of the ends (and in one swift movement), flip the centre of the U, propelling it to form a double twist. Lay the twist back on the worktop and lightly press the tapered ends onto the opposite sides of the pretzel, attaching them at either side of the central bulge. (You may find a little dab of water helps stick the ends to the pretzel.) Carefully flip the pretzel over and onto a lined baking sheet so the ends are facing down. You should now have a classic pretzel shape with three equally spaced sections.

Step 5
Bring the water to the boil in a large pan, then add the bicarbonate of soda. Gently drop a pretzel into the boiling water and leave for 5 seconds, then carefully remove with a slotted spoon and set on a lined baking sheet. Continue blanching all the pretzels, keeping the differently flavoured pretzels separate. While the plain dough pretzels are still wet from the pan, sprinkle over the rock salt and sesame seeds.

Step 6
Make a deep slash into the thickest part of the dough (the central bulge of the pretzel) using a small sharp knife. Place the pretzels in the heated oven and bake for 20–25 minutes until they are a deep brown.

Step 7
Meanwhile, make the glaze for the sweet pretzels. Put the orange zest and juice and 100g of the sugar into a small pan. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and boil for 1 minute. Lift out the zest with a slotted spoon and roll in the rest of the sugar in a small bowl. Boil the orange syrup until reduced and sticky, then strain through a fine sieve.

Step 8
As soon as the pretzels are baked, transfer them to a wire rack. Quickly brush the sweet pretzels with the syrup glaze and scatter over the candied zest. Leave to cool.

You can find more recipes from Paul Hollywood here.

4 thoughts on “Home made pretzels”

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