Who is up for making pretzels this week? Posting date is September 30th. And if you don’t keep it handy, you’ll need bread flour on top of the whole wheat flour, plus yeast for this recipe! Have fun!
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels
recipe source: Baked Elements
Yield: 12 to 18 pretzels
For the Pretzel Dough
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick, 1 ounce) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
2 tablespoons canola oil
For the Baking Soda Bath
1/3 cup baking soda
For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping
1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Make the Pretzel Dough
In a large bowl, whisk together the bread flour, whole wheat flour, and salt. Add the butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is pea size and the mixture resembles coarse sand.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, gently whisk together the yeast, honey, and water. Stop stirring and let stand until the mixture starts to foam, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium-low and continue mixing until the dough is elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Remove the dough to a plate. Add the canola oil to the bowl and use your fingers to spread a very thin coating of it onto the bottom and sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough back into the bowl, turn it a few times to coat in the canola oil, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Grease two half-sheet pans (18 by 13 inches) with a thick coating of nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, grease the pans with a thin coating of canola oil.
Cut the dough into 8 to 10 equal pieces.
On a flat, slightly oiled surface (or on the prepared pans), roll each dough piece into an 18-inch rope. Then, to make the classic pretzel shape, form each rope into a wide u shape, then take each end and drape it across the opposite side, overlapping the bottom half of the u shape by an inch or two. Press gently in the places where the dough overlaps so the pieces adhere to each other. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature while you make the baking soda bath.
Make the Baking Soda Bath
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F and position the rack in the center.
In a large pot, stir the baking soda into about 7 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boil. In batches of 3, boil the pretzels for about 1 minute on each side (flipping gently with a heatproof spatula). Then remove the pretzels from the water, allowing excess water to drain back into the pot, and place the pretzels on the prepared baking sheets. (If you used the baking sheets to roll out your pretzels, make sure the sheets are still well oiled.)
Once all the pretzels are boiled, bake one sheet at a time for about 15 minutes, or until the pretzels are browned (if you are making smaller, thinner pretzels, check for pretzel doneness around the 10-minute mark). Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the pretzels cool for a few minutes. Repeat for the second baking sheet.
Make the Cinnamon Sugar Topping
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
Baste the top of each still-warm pretzel with a generous slathering of butter, then sprinkle the sugar mixture over. Serve immediately.
Pretzels taste best if eaten within 12 hours of baking. However, I have been known to munch on leftovers over the course of a few days. Just store them at room temperature, tightly covered, for up todays, and, if you want, pop them in a microwave for 15 seconds to warm them just before eating.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.