The Lean Green Bean

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Soft Pretzels & Zucchini Bread

Hi Friends!

After we recovered from the party this morning (some of us...ahem Katharine...took longer than others), we had a little fun in the kitchen. We tried our hand at making soft pretzels!

*original recipe here

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt 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. 


Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. 

 
Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

 
  

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.


In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

 
 
 
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. 


Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. (We topped some of ours with kosher salt, some with cinnamon and sugar and left some plain) Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.


 

While we were waiting for the pretzel dough to rise, we used up the giant zucchini that was taking up room waiting patiently in my vegetable drawer.

*Original recipe here

Dry ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (or all-purpose)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground cinnamon (or 1 Tablespoon pre-ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Wet ingredients:
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (or peanut)
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (or regular milk with a splash of vinegar)
  • 1 cup organic Turbinado sugar (or brown sugar, firmly packed)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini
  • 4 oz dark chocolate, chunked
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a 9×4 inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Line a 6-cup muffin tin with papers OR oil a mini loaf pan. In a bowl, sift together dry ingredients and set aside.


In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy; beat in eggs, yogurt, buttermilk, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Combine well. Stir in grated zucchini and chopped chocolate.(we left out the chocolate)

 
 
 
Fold flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until combined.

Spoon batter into 6 muffin cups (or mini loaf pan) and pour the rest into the 9×4 loaf pan. Bake for approximately 50 minutes.


Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in the pan. Loosen the sides and remove from pan. Cool loaf completely before cutting.

 
The bread is pretty good but the pretzels are AWESOME :)
Enjoy!
--Lindsay--

PS...We had a little fun with Poco and the pretzel dough!



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