Dead week is upon us once again, and you all know what that means: stress baking! That’s right—when the big projects start looming over my head and I hear the sound of important deadlines as they whoosh past me—I don’t get to work. I bake! It’s definitely an inappropriate response, replacing the urgency I should be feeling around this time of the quarter. I’ve been told more than once in the past few weeks that I should be kept under constant stress so that I keep producing cookies, cakes and (this week at least) pretzels for the enjoyment of others.
Makes: 8-10 medium pretzels
For the dough:
1 1/2 cups warm water, between 100-110 F
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast (usually one packet)
4 1/2 cups white flour
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
For boiling and baking:
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
Egg wash (One egg yolk with one tablespoon water
Sea salt, garlic powder, sesame seeds for garnish
Directions: In a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water, and let sit for three to five minutes until yeast begins to froth. Add in the sugar and salt and whisk until blended. Pour in the butter, and slowly add the flour, stirring to incorporate it as you go. Turn the dough on to a flour surface and knead for about five minutes until it feels elastic. Grease the bowl and put the dough back in, spray or pour a few tablespoons of cooking oil over the dough and let it rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 400 F, and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into eight or ten pieces, and then roll each to a foot-long strip. Shape the dough into a “U” and then cross the two ends and twist once to make a pretzel.
Put the 10 cups of water and the baking soda on the stove to boil. Using a slotted spatula to keep their shapes, put the pretzels in the water one or two at a time for about 30 seconds, and then remove each and put them on the baking sheets. After all
the pretzels have been boiled, brush with the egg
wash and sprinkle with salt, garlic powder or sesame seeds if you want an extra punch.
Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the pretzels, until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving. I suggest serving the pretzels with cheese, garlic butter or another creamy dip, depending on your preferences.
Stay tuned for the final Om Nom next week!