I wanted something a little familiar.
I wanted something a little special.
I started reading.
Coming from anywhere near Philadelphia, you know you can get a good soft pretzel. I've had them in other cities, and sometimes they come close.
But not quite.
I can do "Not Quite" very well. Many of my recipes come very close to commercial food, which is scant praise. Most of my recipes are better than what I can buy at the market which is another reason why I keep trying. After all, when is the last time you could buy a sandwich sized roll for five cents and have it taste like something other than sawdust. Yes, I did the math, these rolls cost between 5 and 10 cents for the ingredients and the price variance depends on the market price of the flour. It makes 1500 calories of dough, approximately.
Yes, it takes time, and yes not everyone has the interest or the knowledge. I always enjoyed baking, there's something "elemental" about it. Bringing life forth from food and making it rise, then tossing it in the oven and baking it to perfection.
Once you learn a recipe, it gets tweaked.
Making pretzels is on the surface simply a tweak. I used my standby recipe - Pat's Pizza Dough for this. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can make excellent rolls with that recipe. I followed it literally and simply dropped the ingredients in the bread machine to make dough. I pressed start then went to take a shower.
I ended up with 780 grams of dough. Yes, grams, it's easier to do the math - divide by 10 to get a 78 gram roll which is 150 calories if you need to count the little buggers. That's 2.75 ounces in good old Imperial Measurements which are not used in the Empire any longer.
Dough Recipe is at this link if you want to see the original article, but the ingredients are in order:
- 1 cup plus 1 ounce (9 ounces) of warm 110F water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- Prepare the dough.
- For proper pretzels, you want to allow it to rise then knead to remove most of the "gas".
- For Rolls, form the dough into a ball and allow to rise for at least an hour or two.
- Roll it out however you want it to be - It's your choice!
- Put a saucepan with one quart of water in it plus 1.75 ounces by weight of baking soda. That's 50 grams to the Liter of water.
- Bring the water and baking soda to a full boil.
- Place each dough ball in the water for 30 seconds.
- Flip to the "other" side and allow it to boil for 30 seconds.
- Place the dough ball on the cookie sheet, and repeat for remaining dough.
- You can paint the dough balls with melted butter at this point if you wish.
- Dust with Salt, Sugar, Cinnamon, Sesame Seeds, or any other seasoning or leave plain.
- Bake at 375 for 13 minutes or until deep golden brown or to taste.
- Cool, eat, enjoy.