Chocolate Nutty Pretzels

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12-15 medium pretzels

INGREDIENTS

1 New York style pretzel dough recipe
Coarse sugar
12 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup nuts and/or seeds (hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds or any combination of)
Maldon Salt

DIRECTIONS

Follow the recipe for the pretzels with one exception, before baking sprinkle with coarse sugar instead of pretzel salt. In a double boiler (sauce pan with water simmering with a metal bowl atop) place chocolate and vanilla and melt until chocolate is creamy. Place the nuts in a medium bowl. Get a few baking sheets and line them with parchment paper. Dip half the pretzel in the chocolate, using a spoon to help coat if you need to. After the entire side (just one half) is covered let drain a bit over the chocolate so that all excess chocolate is dripped off. Dip the chocolate side in the nuts and again use another spoon to help coat with the desired level of nuts. Place on the lined baking sheet, fill in the blank spots with more nuts by hand as needed. Sprinkle with maldon salt. Do not refrigerate, the pretzels taste better when softer, so let chocolate set up slowly and keep in a cool not hot place.

Spicy Cherry Pretzel Knots

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 30 knots

INGREDIENTS

For the knots

½ cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
1¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons golden brown sugar (packed)
¾ teaspoon sugar
1½ teaspoons vegetable oil
¼ cup spicy mustard
1⁄3 cup dried cherries, chopped fine
2 cups bread flour
1½ teaspoons salt
Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

For the poaching liquid

8 cups water
¼ cup amber beer
¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup golden brown sugar (packed)
¼ cup cracked mustard seeds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-2 tablespoon pretzel salt or 1-2 tablespoon coarse sea salt

For egg glaze

1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
¼ cup water blended with 1 tablespoon dried cherries

DIRECTIONS

Place ½ cup warm water in medium bowl. Stir in yeast; let stand until dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add buttermilk, both sugars, and vegetable oil; mix well. Mix flour and salt in processor. With motor running, add yeast mixture, mustard and dried cherries and process 2 minutes. Spray large bowl with nonstick spray. Scrape dough into bowl (dough will be very sticky). Spray sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick spray; cover bowl with plastic, sprayed side down. Refrigerate dough until slightly puffed and light, about 1 hour. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, and then spray parchment with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface. Spray hands with nonstick spray. Divide dough into 30 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll into 5-inch long rope. Tie in knot, leaving room on each end sticking up through the center. Tuck other end under, if needed. Transfer pretzels to prepared baking sheet, knob side up. Cover pretzels with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick spray. Refrigerate until puffed and light 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Bring 8 cups water, beer, baking soda, and brown sugar and mustard seeds to simmer in large wide pot (liquid should reach depth of at least 1½”. Carefully invert each pretzel into liquid in pot, allowing to slide off paper. Poach 10 seconds. Using skimmer or slotted spoon, turn pretzels over; poach 10 seconds longer. Lift from poaching liquid, allowing pretzel to drain well. Transfer to prepared sheets. Brush with egg mixture oil and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Bake pretzels 15 minutes, until pretzels are deep brown. (Rotate baking sheets halfway through baking time.) Transfer pretzels to rack; let cool to room temperature.

Spicy Horseradish Herb Pretzels

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12-15 medium pretzels

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1½ cups warm water
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh horseradish, grated
2 tablespoons of each of the following fresh herbs, chopped: thyme, marjoram, chives, parsley, tarragon
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped fine, for garnish
Pretzel salt

DIRECTIONS

Mix together sugar, yeast and water in a metal or glass mixing bowl until frothy. Let sit until foamy, about 5-7 minutes. In another large mixing bowl combine flour and salt.

Whisk together 4 cups flour and 1 tablespoon table salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, horseradish and herbs and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms into a soft dough. Gently dust a smooth flat work surface with flour, turn out dough and knead gently, using enough additional flour to make a smooth sticky dough, about 10 minutes (Dough needs to be somewhat sticky to facilitate rolling and forming into pretzels).

Place dough back into the bowl and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, let dough sit in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and cut into 12-15 equal pieces. Using your palms, roll 1 piece back and forth on a clean dry work surface into a rope about 12″ long. If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust them with flour. Twist dough into a pretzel shape. (Dough will retract as you form the pretzel.)

Transfer pretzel with your hands to an oiled or lined with parchment paper baking sheet and place all the formed pretzels about 2 inches apart on all sides.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Let pretzels stand, uncovered, about 20 minutes. Bring a wide 6-quart pot of water to a boil.

Using both hands, carefully add a few pretzels, 1 at a time, to boiling water and cook, turning over once with tongs, until pretzels are puffed and shape is set, about 3 minutes. Transfer parboiled pretzels to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining pretzels.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and oil paper, then arrange pretzels on sheet. Brush pretzels lightly with some of egg and sprinkle with pretzel salt and chives. Bake until golden brown and lightly crusted, about 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes, then serve warm.

New York Street Pretzels

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

ptext

Makes 12-15 medium pretzels

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1½ cups warm water
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
Pretzel salt

DIRECTIONS

Mix together sugar, yeast and water in a metal or glass mixing bowl until frothy. Let sit until foamy, about 5-7 minutes. In another large mixing bowl combine flour and salt.

Whisk together 4 cups flour and 1 tablespoon table salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms into a soft dough. Gently dust a smooth flat work surface with flour, turn out dough and knead gently, using enough additional flour to make a smooth sticky dough, about 10 minutes (Dough needs to be somewhat sticky to facilitate rolling and forming into pretzels).

Place dough back into the bowl and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, let dough sit it warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and cut into 12-15 equal pieces. Using your palms, roll 1 piece back and forth on a clean dry work surface into a rope about 12″ long. If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust them with flour. Twist dough into a pretzel shape. (Dough will retract as you form the pretzel.)

Transfer pretzel with your hands to an oiled or lined with parchment paper baking sheet and place all the formed pretzels about 2 inches apart on all sides.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Let pretzels stand, uncovered, about 20 minutes. Bring a wide 6-quart pot of water to a boil.

Using both hands, carefully add a few pretzels, 1 at a time, to boiling water and cook, turning over once with tongs, until pretzels are puffed and shape is set, about 3 minutes. Transfer parboiled pretzels to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining pretzels.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and oil paper, then arrange pretzels on sheet. Brush pretzels lightly with some of egg and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Bake until golden brown and lightly crusted, about 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes, then serve warm.

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