Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels

I have a soft spot in my heart for a fresh-from-the-oven soft pretzel. I like to smear mine with just a little grainy mustard. Nothing fancy. No special toppings or fillings. Just a soft, warm dough and the tang of a whole grain mustard.

Pure bliss, I tell you.

Now if you live near a prezel place, consider yourself lucky. But, if you are like me... with no pretzel outlet in sight, never fear! Soft pretzels are so easy to make.

Don't let the yeast scare you off. Rejoice in the fact the yeast will do much of the work here. I like to make things like this in my Kitchen Aid. The dough hook is fabulous.

The Kitchen-Aid works best for breads at speed 4. Stop to scrape the sides occaisionally. Once you have the perfect flour and wet dough ration it will all be pulled off the sides.

Then you wait. Let the dough rise and do it's thing.

Remember playing with Play-Doh as a kid? Yup... all those hours of rolling out snakes will be put to good use. Start your rolling. Or get your kids to do it. Mine are pros!

You can brush the tops of these with egg wash, but I went for a simple water wash to hold on the coarse salt. It is up to you.

I love how unique homemade pretzels look. Mine aren't picture perfect, but they sure taste yummy.

Okay, ready to try this recipe for yourself?

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels

You Will Need:
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 tsp. brown sugar
2 c. room temperature water (you don't want to harm the yeast!)
1 c. all-purpose flour
4 c. freshly ground whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. water
Coarse salt for topping

In a small mixing bowl, bloom the yeast with the brown sugar and room temperature water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes frothy.

Mix in the all-purpose flour and salt. Then slowly begin adding the additional whole flour until the dough just comes together in the mixing bowl. Let it knead on a medium-low setting (4 for breads) for about 3 minutes.

Place in an oiled bowl to rise for about an hour. Keep it covered so it doesn't dry out. The dough should double in bulk.

Separate into 16 balls, and roll out "snakes" of dough. Then twist them to make pretzel shapes. Cover the dough with a tea towel and let rise for another 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Brush each bagel with a little water and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Serve with your favorite whole grain mustard. Enjoy!

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