To make soft or hard pretzels was the challenge for last month's We Knead to Bake group. I choose to make soft pretzels with jalapenos.
2 1/4 tsp dried active yeast
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup warm milk
3 cups + 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
6 cups water
2 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp cornmeal or semolina
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp jalapeno, chopped
2 tbsp jalapeno, chopped
- In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm milk and allow that to stand for about 5 minute.
- Add the 3 cups flour, chopped jalapeno and salt to the proofed yeast and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto 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 minutes.
- 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.
- preheat oven to 425 degree F.
- 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-aluminum pan and bring to a boil. 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 swell/ 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. Sprinkle coarse salt over the pretzels.
- Place the pretzels on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal or semolina. Bake at 425 degree F (220C) 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’re best eaten fresh, and on the same day. This recipe makes 12 Pretzels.