Alton Brown’s Amazing Soft Pretzel!!

This is so simple to make.  Such a wonderful dough to knead by hand too.  The pretzel turns out beautiful!   Highly recommending trying out this “Good Eat” recipe!!

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Here are the ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda (will reduce to 1/2 because the baking soda after taste was a bit too strong on the surface)
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt (I use very coarse sea salt)

Combine the water and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. In a large mixture bowl, add the flour &salt and mix well.   Make a hole in the middle of the flour and put water & melted butter.  Mix into a dough ball and start kneading a little inside the bowl.  Then take out to clean surface and start seriously kneading until dough is elastic and not sticky to touch.  When it feels ready, you can take a small piece of dough and stretch it until you can see through thin layer of dough without breaking.  Lightly flour the bottom and top of dough and cover it a big stainless steel bowl.  Let the dough rise until it double in size and it should look like this

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Followed AB advice use digital scale to divide the dough into 4.5 oz piece. It should yield 8 pretzel, but I ended up a little bit more so I make a 1 oz tiny dough ball.  I think 4.5 oz is a bit too big.. (totally American size Smile with tongue out)  Next time I will make 16 smaller pretzel.

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Single twist version actually looks pretty after baking because after the dough expanded, the simpler version actually looks prettier.  Keep the dough cover and prepare the baking soda boiling water (10 cup + 2/3 cup of baking soda).  I will reduce the baking soda to only 1/2 cup because baking soda after taste too strong following the exact recipe.

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After 30 second of boiling and light brush of egg yolk wash.  Huh, they look exactly like the bagels I used to made.  Don’t worry about the winkles surface.  It will become smooth after baking.

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Decide AB’s size is too big so next tray is smaller version.  Use for different type of toppings (sesame, poppy seed and quinoa) to see which one turn out the best.    The winner is quinoa and leaving just plain is 2nd best.  Poppy seed just does not show very well.

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After 12 minutes of baking at 400F

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After another 6 minutes of baking taking the bigger pretzel out as well.  Very soft yet slightly chewy dough.. lovely with mustard sauce!

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