Pretzel Bake Off


Millciti's picture
Millciti 2009 May 28

Just waiting for the weekend to catch up.  I did another round of Pierre Nury's light rye and my hubby's favorite mixed grain oatmeal sourdough yesterday.  Tonight is whatever kind of ale we have with sourdough pizza night.  So tonight after I mix the pizza dough I will start on pretzels. 

I gave TP a poke yesterday and she is busy with dumplings, but she sent her regards and said she should be stopping by soon.  So we both should be ready to fire up the pretzel ovens this weekend.

I can't wait to try these!  I noticed that in local breads Dan used his pretzel dough for hamburger buns too... humm



Johnny's picture
Johnny 2009 May 29
Not much response so far LD. I did a bit of exploring but as you say there is not much out there and the few recipes I found did not inspire me. Anyway I decided to give your version a go. Mixed up the dough tonight and put it in the fridge. I will make and bake tomorrow night. Should be interesting as I have never tried these type of pretzels. You rarely see them down here in Aussie land. I vaguely remember seeing some in the huge food court at Westfields Parramatta some time ago. The only thing I remember about them was that wonderful just baked bread smell and they certainly looked delicious.I'll post my results good or bad..

Johnny's picture
Johnny 2009 May 30
Here's my attempt using LeadDog's recipe ( or formula in Chemist speak .. )

It was fun making them but they were not without a few little problems... the first being not sure how long to boil them. Do you just dunk them? or leave for 1 minute or two each side? 
Secondly, do you have to wait until they are dry before baking. I left them on the oven rack to dry for only a few minutes and then just slid the rack straight into the oven. I discovered my mistake when they stuck to the rack and had to be pried off after cooling.
I also had trouble knowing how long and thin to roll out the dough so that my pretzels would look right. I'm sure there is a trick to forming these or else lots of practice. I think mine are a bit too fat and compact. More like buns. Still they taste great, although not having ever tried them before it's hard to compare.
Thanks for getting this going Duane. Bake-Offs are such a good way to learn. I hope some others turn up.
Any suggestions about what to eat them with? Dips? Beer & Pretzels sounds familiar.
LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2009 May 30
Ok I just noticed that I didn't put in how long I boiled them.  I think it is from 30 seconds to 1 minute.  I just dropped them into the boiling water then fished them out with a spatula.  When I took them out I put them on the rack and started boiling the next pretzel.  Then I would go and remove the pretzel from the drying rack.  I think I cooked the pretzels on parchment paper.  The rolling out of the dough and forming the pretzel is mostly just keep practicing until you are happy with it.  I practiced with other dough before I made the pretzels and was terrible.  When I did my first pretzel it was very nice so I would have to say pretzels are tricky to shape but practice helps.
The most common dip I used with the pretzel was mustard or mustard and honey.
I have to say your pretzels are off to a good start.
TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2009 May 31

This bake-off is looking delicious...thanks to LD and Johnny!

I've just recovered from making 100 chinese/malaysian savoury as well as sweet rice dumplings (for a recent excuse2eat festival), and, now I feel pretty up to twissup some pretzels. This is going to be something new for me too, never having tasted sourdough pretzels. I can vaguely remember pretzels I tasted in NYC with big chunks of salt, and, commercial pretzels we have here don't come plain...they always come flavoured...onion and sour cream, garlic, chocolate sprinkles, nuts, and etc.

Yep...this is going to be interesting. Off to refresh my long neglected starter...

Thanks, LD!

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2009 June 1
Welcome back TP.  I hope your starter is recovering by now.  There are a bunch of crazy things you can do with pretzels it is I just have never had them.  I need to edit my instructions so the time is included for the soda bath.
TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2009 June 1
I feel so bad about neglecting my starter I think I'll give it another day of TLC, although it's bubbling. On 2nd thoughts, I'm too excited to wait. Since your recipe (which I'll be following) has 2 preferment builds, it should be happy enough. Now to decide on the flavours...
Millciti's picture
Millciti 2009 June 2

Like you Duane I had to make a recipe to get what I needed, but other than losing track of how much flour I used it turned out great.  You can see my pics out on the main page for now since I am really having tech problems with posting them here. 

These are dutch style pretzels... More like Amish, Mennonite influenced soft pretzels with a whole rye/ whole spelt sponge.  And I need a longer cutting board to roll these out but since we are dunking them in hot water the more compact design seems to work...  I will try and post the recipe after another run...





TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2009 June 2

Terri, what lovely pretzels they are! Definitely interested in a recipe. Yes, they are on the homepage, but, when I clicked on your gallery, all I got was a blank. I wonder if it's to do with your file being a png instead of jpg?

I'm going to mix my dough now.

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