As per wiki,A pretzel is a type of baked bread made from dough most commonly found in a unique knot-like shape. Pretzels originated in Europe,the traditional pretzel shape is a distinctive symmetrical looped form, with the ends of a long strip of dough intertwined then, twisted back into itself in a certain way.Pretzels are often seasoned and flavoured with various salts,sugars or seeds or with nuts.For this month's We Knead To Bake, Aparna chosed both soft and hard pretzels, pretzels are in my to do list since a long and seriously i was longing to do them at home since we tasted them during our visit to Strasbourg.
I chosed to baked Aparna's Soft Pretzels, this authentic German pretzel aka Laugenbrezel has a dark brown, crispy,salty crust and inside a soft dough. Its has a plump body and thin crispy but not dry crossed arms while the hard or crunchy pretzels are an American invention.Usually Pretzels goes an egg wash after the soda bath, to give them more shine, but i left the egg wash here and sprinkled the sesame seeds. These pretzels are egg free,if dont have or dont like sesame seeds you also sprinkle sea salt as like the authentic pretzels. Am running my fourth week of blogging marathon with Kid's delight-After school bites, and pretzels suits incredible prefect for evening snacks when served with a cream cheese,my kids enjoyed thoroughly these soft pretzels. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#31.. Sending to Bake fest hosted by Manjula,event by Vardhini.
Recipe Source: My Recipes
2 +1/4 tsp Dried active yeast
1+ 1/2 tsp Sugar
1cup Warm milk
3 + 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
2tbsp Baking soda
2tbsp White sesame seeds
2tbsp Black sesame seeds
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm milk and allow that to stand for about 5 minutes.
Add the 3 cups flour and salt to the proofed yeast and stir until a soft dough forms.
Turn dough out into a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
The dough will feel slightly sticky, so add a bit of flour as and when necessary while kneading. This should take about 8-10minutes.
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. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
Deflate the dough, cover and let it rest 5 minutes. Divide dough into 12 equal portions.
Work with one portion at a time and cover remaining dough to prevent it drying.
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.
Put the 6 cups of water and baking soda in a non-aluminium pan and bring to a boi.
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 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.
Place the pretzels on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal or semolina. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake at 425F for 12 minutes or until pretzels are deep golden brown.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Serve warm with a dip of your choice or just plain.
They are best to eat fresh on the same day.