Saturday, January 26, 2013
Mark this day in history ~ I, Aimee _____, used yeast in the kitchen and lived to tell about it.
Since I'm not much of a baker, yeast completely freaks me out. Anything that grows on my kitchen counter is not typically something I want to stick around. But the intrigue of a pretzel dog forced me to give it a shot and while my pretzel dogs aren't nearly as pretty as others, I'm darn proud of them. Good looking or not, they were DELICIOUS.
The pretzel dough tastes exactly like a pretzel at Disney World (except there is no castle in the background, which admittedly makes pretzels at Disney taste better than anyplace else). It's chewy and soft and amazing. I was so impressed with myself.
While intimidating to those of us unexperienced in yeast, they really aren't that complicated. The dough comes together very easily, you let it rise about an hour, divide and wrap your hot dogs, boil quickly in a baking soda mixture, and bake. Not so bad, right?
I don't have a stand mixer so I did the dough by hand and it was very easy. Plus dough is sorta fun to play with :)
This makes a big batch; I made 16 pretzel dogs PLUS 6 pretzel sticks with the leftover dough.
For the dough:
22 oz (about 4 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 F)
2 oz (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
8 hot dogs, halved
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)
pretzel salt or coarse salt
Add the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, water, and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed until the dough comes into a rough ball. Knead on low speed for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic (it should pull away from the sides of the bowl). Transfer the dough to a large bowl that's been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about 50 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 450 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the 10 cups of water and the baking soda in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto your work surface. Divide it into 16 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into approximately a 12-inch rope. Wrap the rope around one halved hot dog - be sure to pinch the ends very well to seal (to reduce the likelihood that the dough unravels when you boil in the next step). Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough until you've wrapped all of the dogs.
One at a time, boil the pretzel dogs in the baking soda/water mixture for 30 seconds, transferring them to a wire rack afterward using a slotted spoon or spider strainer. Repeat with all 16 pretzel dogs. Transfer the dogs to the parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle with the pretzel salt.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the pretzels are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with mustard or your favorite dipping sauce.
Source: Tracey's Culinary Adventures
Posted by Aimee ~ See Aimee Cook at 1:30 PM