In honour of this week’s Great British Bake Off, and Paul Hollywood’s bread-making skills, I decided to deviate from my usual cake-baking escapades and try my hand at a dough-based challenge.
I’ve always wanted to try to recreate those big, soft, chewy pretzels synonymous with New York. I found a brilliant recipe for these in this Great British Bake Off book and then experimented with my own toppings.
To make 8 pretzels you need:
- 300g strong white bread flour
- 1 teaspoon of caster sugar
- 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 225ml milk at room temperature
- English mustard
- Grated mature cheddar cheese
- Chopped chives
- A small amount of melted butter (for the glaze)
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Begin by mixing the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a bowl, and mix together until combined. Add the milk to the mixture and mix together using your hands.
Tip the mixture onto a floured surface and knead for five minutes. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Turn the dough onto an unfloured work surface and cut into eight balls. Leave to rise for five minutes.
Now roll one ball at a time into a long sausage shape, and fold each end up to the middle to form the classic pretzel shape. The sausage shape needs to be quite long (approximately 50cm) otherwise the pretzels lose their shape once baked.
Before placing in the oven, brush with milk then add the topping of grated cheese and chives. To add a bit more of a kick, I spread English mustard on the pretzels before adding the topping. Pop in the oven for 15 minutes or until the top looks golden brown. Once they are out of the oven, brush melted butter over the pretzels to add a shiny glaze.
The pretzels went so quickly that I had to make a second batch just so I could take a photo of them!
Photographed here are some mustard, cheese and chive pretzels alongside a rock salt version.
~ Laura xx ~