Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Breadmaker Pretzels

    My weakness knows no end for this one perfectly shaped and salted treat. Usually reserved for Mall sojourns, I really never gave account to whipping up supersized  knots of bread in the confines of my little kitchen. But oh, how misguided I was! Pacing through in an online hunt, I discovered the World Wide Web flush with recipes, how- tos and step- two -three's on making the perfect pretzel or brezel, Danke! Weeding through, I found the one that seemed easier than most, with enough clamorings of general comment love. But thingthatcaughtmyattention was the requirement of my oft neglected kitchen accessory, an absurdly tubshaped Oster breadmaker.

    Pretzelmaking in itself is not a difficult task, especially when you have hardest work done for you by this remarkable machine. In fact, a soft baked pretzel depends largely on balancing the curve between Perfect Knead and Great Rise. The mechanized coagulation actually does produce smooth elasticity which is so vital for proper pretzel looping. Good dough thus leads to superior bake- holler yes to chewysoft, densesmooth - those be compounds for your new digestive vocabulary.

    And so we get to round one. Soft buttery knots of yeasted dough this was precisely NOT. At least in  my maiden adventure. More stretchy than need be and bursting apart at all seams left the dough tasting like chewy bricks and me severely disappointed. So solid were these that their first cut made straight to the waste bin.

    After much pondering and excessive hair pulling, a gentle rebalance was done, a here and there effort, reducing flour by a half cup here, throwing in a tablespoon more sugar and there, faster, maybe not,than speed was my fairly decent and well risen dough. Where trusted breadmachine flour and a better suited breadmaker's yeast turned pretzel making into absolute glee.

    The only technique, I should say requiring small amounts of mastery would be the shaping of your pretzel knot. Though none of mine looked the same, the smooth elastic dough enabled myself to successfully wing through and turn the skinny snake forms into loop and tuck frames, almost perfect Thor builds. And when you employ the several hands at home, nothing could be easier and after school snacking will never be the same.

    For those of you waiting for a pretzel making cue, get on it, for this is the one! Maybe even bests out that mall competition. A challenge indeed which no Wetzel or Auntie Anne can hold candle to.
    •  1 cup warm water
    • 1 tbsp oil
    • 2 ½ cups bread flour
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 1 ½ tsp salt
    • 2¼ tsp active dry yeast ( I used breadmachine yeast)
    • 2 qts. water
    • 2 tbsp baking soda
    Glaze Ingredients:
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tbsp water
    Topping variations:
    • coarse pretzel salt
    • sesame seeds
    • cinnamon sugar
    • parmesan cheese 
    End Glaze:
    • 4 tbsp butter, melted
    • Place the ingredients, from water to yeast, into the pan of the breadmaker according to your manual's instructions ( I did it in the same order listed above, liquids to dry, ending with yeast).
    • Program the machine to the dough setting. Let it complete its cycle. Take it out and allow to rest 10 minutes.
    • Turn dough out onto counter. If you want a smooth work surface, flour counter at this point.
    • Divide into 8- 10 pieces.
    • Preheat oven to 425° F
    • Roll each into an 16-18 inch rope. Shape each rope into a round and then lift each end to cross over and touch opposite side of the circle, tucking the ends underneath the round, sealing with a dab of water. Or twist into any shape you desire.

    • Place on parchment lined baking trays and let rise for about 15 minutes.
    • Combine water and baking soda in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
    • With a slotted spoon lower each pretzel and immerse in this boiling water mixture for about 15 seconds on each side - or when they float to the surface.
    • Take out from the water bath and return to tray. About 6 per 9X13" tray
    • Beat egg and water together and brush egg glaze onto individual pretzels.
    • Sprinkle with salt or sesame seeds or just leave plain. 
    • Bake for 8- 10 minutes until golden brown, turning sides halfway through.
    • Brush melted butter onto tops of pretzels. If you plan to add cinnamon sugar, do it here.
    • Allow to rest for 5- 10 minutes, since they are scalding hot (burned mouths heal slow).
    Don't have a breadmaker? There are no dearth for handmade pretzel recipes out there.
     I wanted to showcase my bulksome beauty, prettied it up with the carnation prop. Looking more like an oversized boat, my flowers took first prize in appearance, see that picture below? Beware though, that beast within is worth due praise.

    My shapes were functionally disfigured. No two looked the same. A non issue since they were gone by the end of daylight.
    Mustard, cheese sauce or cinnamon sugared. Options on how to chow are endless. That being said, how do you eat your pretzel?
    "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you" Psalm 56:3 

    No anxiety, no worry. Just give me Jesus and all fear be gone.


    1. nice work... me too posted a bread recipe.. your pretzels look pretty
      Noel collections

      1. Oh thanks Reshmi. I should check out that bread recipe of yours.

    2. Oh wow! These look so good! We've never known anyone to make them at home. We bet your family was so happy to have such a great snack!

      Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

      1. Thank you Jayme & Mendi. It was absolutely that- great!

    3. I haven't made homemade pretzels in years. Yours look so yummy, I think you may have motivated me to make another batch this weekend!

      1. Thanks Shari- yes, you should start on that batch ASAP!

    4. I can defintely vouch for the goodness of a bread maker my friend, and you have persuaded me to eat a lot of these pretzels :D


    5. yummy homemade pretzels..they look so perfect like the store brought ones,very well done!!!
      Join EP event-Nutmeg OR Parsley @ Chef Mireille's Global Creations

    6. Your pretzels are so pretty and perfect. My bread machine went dead on my last year and I've been making my bread dough in the mixer. Boy oh boy, you're making me craving for some soft pretzels now. Hope mine will turn out as beautiful as yours.

      1. Thank you Amy. The breadmaker is a miracle machine, right? Though I know diligent hands can churn out yummy pretzels as well- have fun making and eating!

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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!