Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels
serves 8

700g/11/2lb plain flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons softened butter, plus
a little extra, melted
225ml/8fl oz warm milk

• Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ Gas mark 6. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
• Put about 125g/4oz of the flour, the sugar, salt, baking powder, yeast and the 2 tablspoons softened butter in a large bowl. Mix until smooth and the yeast starts to froth.
• Sift in the remaining flour, and continue mixing until a stiff dough forms. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Form into a ball and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
• Punch down the dough and knead for a minute or so. Divide into eight equal pieces. Roll or cut each piece into a rope 45cm/18in long and 1cm/1/2in in diameter, and twist each rope into a pretzel shape. Allow to rest for a couple of minutes.
• Using a slotted spoon or broad spatula, slide the pretzels into the boiling water one at a time, and boil each one until they float to the top. Remove immediately, drain off and transfer to the greased baking sheet.
• Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Brush the pretzels very lightly with melted butter as they emerge from the oven. Serve warm.

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