Pretzels Two Ways
Pretzels Two Ways
- 300 g bread flour
- 159 g water warm
- 12 g butter unsalted
- 1 3/4 tsp. yeast
- 1 tsp. salt fine
- 40 g food-grade lye
- 2.2 lbs. water cool
- salt pretzel
- Combine all ingredients in bowl of stand mixer, water and butter first.
- Mix dough on first speed for four minutes. Then mix on 3rd speed for three minutes.
- Remove dough from bowl, spray bowl with pan spray, and replace dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to ferment for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Divide dough as desired (80 to 100 g pieces will yield decent-sized pretzels).
- Preshape dough pieces into logs. Cover pieces of dough with plastic wrap or tea towel and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Roll logs out to 16" strands. Follow one of the two shaping methods below.
- Shape each strand into the Deathly Hallows symbol: Start with the Elder Wand, loop across to make the Resurrection Stone, and then wrap around to make the Cloak of Invisibility. Pinch corners to make the shape more triangular.
- Set each pretzel on a parchment-lined baking sheet and set aside.
- Prepare a second baking sheet with well-sprayed parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat, no need to spray). Also prepare your lye solution (see below). Set up your dipping station: Cover your work surface with a large plastic bag or plastic wrap. Place the lye solution in the middle, pretzels on one side, and prepared baking sheet on the other.
- Working with gloves and a slotted spoon, dip each pretzel seperately in the solution for no more than 10 seconds (flip pretzel over if needed). Move pretzels to the prepared baking sheet.
- Once all pretzels are dipped, sprinkle with pretzel salt.
- Bake immediately for about 15 minutes.
- Cut each strand in thirds and roll out thinner (to about 8 inches). Cover with plastic wrap or a clean trash bag.
- Prepare your baking pan: Line each pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper greased with pan spray. Use sprayed glassware or metal forms to help shape your occamys.
- Dip each thin dough strand in lye for 10 seconds. Then, knot and twist the dough in the shape of an occamy.
- Sprinkle pretzels with pretzel salt. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Only work with lye in a plastic container. Wide and short is better than tall and deep.
- Add lye to water and mix until dissolved completely.
- Once finished with your lye, discard immediately. Clean plastic container and utensils thoroughly.
- See notes below for more information on working with lye.
- This dough is very dense. If your mixer is struggling, remove the dough from the bowl and knead it by hand until it's smooth. The dough should bounce back when lightly pressed with the pad of the finger.
- If the dough is too tough to roll out to strands, allow it to rest longer until it is fairly easy to work with. However, don't hesitate to put a little pressure on the dough.
- Lye is a chemical and can cause burns if it touches your skin. NPR discusses why this is important and offers a way to use baking soda instead.
- Find a container that will allow the water to be deep enough so that your pretzels will at least be half submerged. Do not add more water to the solution; 4% lye is necessary.
- A slight green tint is the result of the lye during baking. This color should be gone when pretzels are baked properly.
- This recipe was adapted from one by Chef Ciril Hitz.