Wednesday, January 23, 2008
When it's below freezing I apparently have an innate mechanism that forces me to bake or try new recipes. This one turned out great and was fun, but rolling the dough into the ropes took me forever. I suggest inviting friends over and forcing them into servitude so your arms don't fall off. I got most of these instructions from a fellow blogger (Maria in PA), but changed a few things from her version.
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 tsp yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups flour
Soften yeast with sugar in water. Mix in all other ingredients and knead till smooth and elastic. Let rise till double in bulk (about 1 hour). Divide dough into 4 sections and then divide each section into 6 pieces.
Roll each piece into a rope about 18 inches long. Shape the rope into a circle, overlapping about 4 inches from the end. Twist the ends where dough overlaps. Lift the ends across to the opposite edge of the circle. Moisten and press ends to seal. Place on a greased cookie sheet and let rise uncovered until puffy, about 20-30 minutes.
Mix 2 Tbsp baking soda in 2 cups hot water. Dip shaped pretzels into mixture for 10 seconds on each side. Place on greased cookie sheets. Brush with egg white and sprinkle coarse sea salt before baking.
Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes or until browned. Remove from cookie sheets and serve with mustard, cheese sauce or marinara.
I did half my batch with the egg white/salt mixture and the other half I cooked plain and then dipped them in butter and sprinkled the sea salt after baking. Both were good. Super hot, I preferred the egg white ones, but cooled off a bit the butter ones were better. So, really it just all depends on how much will-power you've got. Next time I'm going to try some cinnamon and sugar ones as well as Parmesan.