I have a confession to make. I completely suck at making bread. It’s not for a lack of trying. I was on a roll a few years ago trying to get the hang of it but it just never really sunk in. The same thing happened with omlettes but early one Saturday morning I was watching Julia Child on PBS and she was making omlettes. They looked so easy that I got up and decided to try out her method. It totally worked. I Netflixed a bunch of Julia Child programs last year and I think I’m ready to ease my way back into bread making. There are some tools that I’d like to pick up first in order to make it a little easier.
In the meantime, I thought I’d try my hand at pretzels again. I rummaged around in my files and found my mom’s recipe for pretzels and made a few modifications as I worked through it. They turned out quite good if I do say so myself. I can’t wait to make another batch to try with the Cognac Mustard I have resting in the cupboard.
- 1 c. warm water, approx. 100° to 110°F
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 3 c. all-purpose flour (more will be needed for work surface)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
- Vegetable oil for bowl
- 8 c .water
- 1/2 c. baking soda
- Coarse sea salt (to taste)
- 6 ounces grated white cheddar cheese
- 3 tbsp white wine
- 2 tsp cracked black pepper
- Stir yeast into warm water in a large bowl. Let stand until a a foamy surface develops, about 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, in a smaller bowl, stir together flour, salt, and brown sugar.
- Add flour mixture to yeast mixture. Stir together first with a wooden spoon and then knead dough on a floured surface. Knead dough for 8-10 minutes adding more flour to the surface if the dough sticks.
- Wash the bowl in warm water and then oil it. Transfer dough to the dough to the bowl and turn over to coat with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a draft-free place like the oven. Just don’t forget about it. It will need to sit for 2-3 hours or until it has doubled in size.
- After it has doubled, punch down the dough and divide into 4 balls. Roll each ball into a 12-inch-long rope. Cut each rope into six pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and Line baking sheet with parchment.
- Next, bring water and baking soda to a boil for the pretzel bath. Add the pretzels, a few at a time, and cook 30 seconds then transfer with a slotted spoon to the parchment lined baking sheet. Quickly sprinkle with salt so that it sticks. Repeat until all pretzels have been boiled.
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until browned. They brown quickly at the end so watch them closely. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.