Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sourdough Pretzels

It is very easy to make these pretzels. The recipe calls for sourdough starter straight from the refrigerator, hence there is no need to feed it first. :)

These pretzels are really soft and chewy when fresh from the oven. Sourdough pretzels, anyone? :)

Sourdough Pretzels
Adapted from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients (Makes 12)
Pretzel Dough
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup sourdough starter, unfed and straight from the refrigerator
3 cups plain flour
1/4 cup milk powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter or vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast

1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lukewarm water
Some pretzel salt, for sprinkling
2 tbsp melted butter, for brushing (Optional)

1. Mix and knead the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a cohesive, fairly smooth dough. It should be slightly sticky; if it seems dry, knead in an additional tablespoon or two of water.
2. Cover the dough and let it rest for 45 minutes. It will rise minimally. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface, fold it over a few times to gently deflate it, then divide it into 12 pieces, each weighing about 2 ¼  to 2 ½ ounces.
4. Roll each piece of dough into an 18-inch rope. Shape each rope into a pretzel.
5. Prepare the topping solution: Dissolve the sugar in the water. Brush the pretzels with the solution, and sprinkle lightly with coarse pretzel salt.
6. Bake the pretzels for 25 to 30 minutes, until they're a light golden brown.
7. Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush with melted butter, if desired.

- Cover the dough with plastic wrap as you work with the individual pieces to keep it from drying out.
- There's no need to let the shaped pretzels rise before baking.
- I made half of the recipe and omitted pretzel salt.