Sourdough Soft Pretzels

>> Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quirk // I write many of my recipes on the backs of unopened junk mail.

It's a strange habit that started in college and it's stuck to this day, apparently. I need to invest in some composition books or something. Oh, and my writing instruments of choice range from markers and crayons to sharpies and Stephen's red grading pens. Whatever is around and not out of ink.

All that sloppy scratching =

 Makes 4 >> vegan << pretzels

What you'll need . . . 

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter (straight from the fridge) 
  • 1/3 cup low sodium veggie juice (I used R.W. Knudsun's Very Veggie)***
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoons flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • pinch salt
  • rosemary + paprika, to taste (optional)
*** You can also use water, I'm sure of it.

Method . . . 

  1. Easy enough: Toss all wet ingredients into a large bowl followed by the dry ingredients.
  2. Mix together using a spoon, then work into kneading with your hands, adding extra flour if necessary. Form a smooth, elastic ball.
  3. Put a bit of olive oil in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap overnight (or 8 to 10 hours should do it).
  4. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
  5. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Then, on a slightly oiled surface (I used a large plate) roll out into a long snake. Shape into a pretzel, as per these instructions from another recipe.
  6. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a raging boil. Then place the pretzels in one by one (or two by two, if you're comfortable) and keep submerged for about 30 seconds (they will begin to float).
  7. Repeat with the other two pretzels. Then sprinkle with coarse salt (and more paprika, if you like).
  8. Bake for 5 minutes. Then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.

I've been making a lot of stuff with my sourdough starter. Honestly, I didn't know there were so many uses for it. Bagels, pretzels, pancakes, waffles, just to name a few. My favorite creation has to be the basic sourdough loaf, though.

I've also noticed a gigantic difference in taste, sourness, with letting things rise overnight versus just a few hours. It's well, well, well worth the wait, whenever possible.

And I took your advice and bought a non-Le Creuset dutch oven. Got it -- a Wolfgang Puck, 5.6 qt -- at TJ Max on clearance for $39. THIRTY NINE DOLLARS. As in, at least $100 under what I thought I needed to spend.

You'll be getting good use this weekend, my friend.

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