If you have been to Westfields, I am sure you would have at some point been lured by the heavenly scent of the cinammon and sugar pretzels stall... they hand out samplers of fresh out of the oven soft hand rolled pretzels... so tasty... and before you know it, you are handing over money so that you can have your very own piping hot pretzel, all to yourself. Though the beauty of them is getting them fresh, hot out of the oven, they just aren't as good if you take them home... Though you can't really pop into Westfields on every pretzel whim...
|The texture is so light and fluffy... though it would be bad to eat more than one.. wouldn't it... ? ;)|
A yummy balance of chew to fluffy softness, and a light crisp crust... Give it a go, it's so simple, you only need patience whilst the dough is left to rise, otherwise the whole process of actually kneading and cooking takes no more than 20 minutes tops!
Makes 12 large pretzels, or 15 palm sized
4 cups plain flour
1 cup strong bread flour
2x 7g sachets of instant yeast
1/2 cup of sugar (granulated is fine)
1 1/2tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup of warm water (slightly warmer than tepid)
1/8c Bicarbonate Soda dissolved with1 cup hot water
Stir together all the dry ingredients together with oil, then stir in warm water - start with around 1 1/2 cups and then add little by little until there is enough moisture to bring all the flour together to a slightly sticky dough... turn it out onto a clean surface, and start kneading the dough till smooth. This took me around 6mins. When ready,press your finger into the dough, the indent should bounce back.
LIghtly oil a large bowl (this should be at least twice the size of your ball of dough). Place your dough into the bowl, and roll it around to thinly coat with oil. Cover with cling film and let rise in a non drafty warm place to rise for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size. (I leave mine in a closed oven)
When the dough has doubled, preheat the oven to about 240 degrees C. Dissolve your bicarbonate of soda in the hot water.
Turn out the douhg on a lightly floured clean surface, and divide into about 12 portions. Roll out into a long rope- approx 20 inches, or thereabouts, twist it into your pretzel shape and then place on a baking try lined with baking parchment. When all the dough is shaped onto your tray, brush them generously with the bicarbonate glaze (this gives them their signature pretzel shine) and then bake for 8 minutes till browned.
For cinammon sugar pretzels:
Melt approx 50g of butter, when the pretzels come out of the oven, brush them with the melted butter then dip the pretzels into a bowl of cinammon sugar to cover (cinammon mixed with caster sugar)
Sprinkle poppy seeds over the glazed pretzels just before they go into the oven. You can also sprinkle them very sparingly with some good quality sea salt