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Fresh Baked Pretzels

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Fresh Baked Pretzels

Fresh Baked Pretzels

Ally Gruener courtesy Andrews McMeel
Fresh baked pretzels are the perfect snack food. Here is a simple recipe for great tasting pretzels that skips the traditional method of boiling the shaped pretzels. These are best baked and eaten the same day.

Reprinted with permission from The Berghoff Cafe Cookbook by Carlyn Berghoff (Andrews McMeel 2009). The great Berghoff restaurant has been a Chicago landmark since 1898.

Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
  • 1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg white, well beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel (coarse) salt, as needed

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Do not use a convection oven for this recipe.

To mix in a mixer: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt, and stir to mix; add the water, butter, and egg yolk, and mix on low until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead the dough at the lowest speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, adding some or all of the remaining flour as needed. Cover with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with cooking spray and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

To mix by hand: In a 4-quart bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt, and whisk to mix; add the water, butter, and egg yolk and, using a large spoon, stir until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Remove the spoon and, using your hands, knead the dough right in the bowl until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, adding some or all of the remaining flour as needed. Cover with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with cooking spray and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

To mix in a food processor: In the work bowl of a large-capacity (14-cup) food processor fitted with the plastic dough blade, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt, and pulse to mix. Add the water, butter, and egg yolk, and pulse until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and forms a cohesive mass. Add additional flour as needed through the feed tube.

To shape the pretzels: Turn out the dough on a lightly floured board and knead briefly, about 1 minute. Cut the dough into twelve equal-size pieces. Roll out each dough piece into a 24-inch long rope. Make a U shape with the rope. Holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press the ends down onto the bottom of the U to seal, forming a “pretzel shape.” For small pretzels, cut the dough into 24 equal-size pieces. Roll out each dough piece into a 12-inch long rope and shape as directed.

Gently place each pretzel on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet (two pans). Brush the tops lightly with the egg white mixture. Sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt, or to taste. Bake in the preheated oven for 14 to 16 minutes, or until browned and firm. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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