I should be making doughnuts this week. I really really should be making doughnuts. Or at least a fruit loaf. You see, I have been baking along with the Great British Bake Off and trying to make something with the same theme as the show each week. It’s fun, but I’ve started to feel like I have deadlines and that is never a good thing.
After bunking off and doing no baking last week, this week, I’m still rebelling. Not completely as this is still Bake Off related. I remember seeing the contestants make pretzels last year, or maybe it was even the year before! Anyway, I’ve been wanting to make pretzels for a long time but only now have I wanted to make them enough to actually make them!
You see, I was sent some lovely French rock salts by Culture Vulture and so I really wanted to make something that would make the most of the salts. The salts were Truffle and Black Pepper Salt and Fig, Onion and 5 Peppers Salt. Both came in beautiful jars and look so much more inviting than everyday salt. The pretzels I’d been thinking of making for all that time suddenly became something I really wanted to make.
I hadn’t make pretzels before or any bread that involves boiling first but I was pleased by how easy they were to make and also by how well they turned out. Maybe I’ll be having a go at bagels soon! I did take a short cut and use the breadmaker for the dough and it was fine in it.
The salts were lovely although I couldn’t really taste the individual flavours that were in them. The purplish lilac colour of the fig, onion and 5 peppers one looked especially pretty on the pretzels and these are definitely lovely salts to use on breads or biscuits which have salt sprinkled on the outside. Of course, if you don’t have these salts, any good quality rock salt would still work on the pretzels.
The recipe is adapted from a Paul Hollywood recipe and can be found on BBC Food.
Ingredients – Makes 12
500g strong white flour
7g sachet yeast
40g softened butter
1 tbsp soft brown sugar (replacement for malt extract)
21g bicarbonate of soda
20g rock salt
How to Make Pretzels
1. I put the yeast, flour, salt, brown sugar and milk into the breadmaker and set it to the dough setting but if you don’t have a breadmaker then follow the instructions here.
2. Put the oven on at 200C. Cut the dough into 12 evenly sized pieces. Roll each one between your fingers until it reaches a length of about 40cm.
3. To make the dough into pretzel shapes, make a U shape then bring each end into the middle, cross them over each other and press them into the side of the U. You should then get a pretzel shape with 3 holes.
4. Bring a large pan containing 7 liters of water to the boil. Add the bicarbonate of soda and then add the pretzels, one at a time for 5 seconds each.
5. Sprinkle a little salt on the top of each pretzel. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and eat on the same day.
I am linking these to Bake of the Week at Casa Costello.