Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Homemade Soft Sweet-n-Salty Whole Grain-n-seed Pretzels

It's Tutorial Tuesday!

Have you ever wondered how to make homemade pretzels? How about heart shaped ones?! We love them here. Soft Chocolate Pretzels were the featured Valentine's Day project last year. This year I'm going all whole grain all the way.  This recipe has been a blessing. Seriously. They're a great grab-n-go snack for kids after school and for me on the run for work. We especially love them when they're sprinkled with a little sugar and salt. It's a sweet-n-salty soft-n-chewy flavoragious Tessalicious treat. Seriously, the biggest complaint I hear from people starting out with whole grain is the dough being dry. These are not that dough. They raise nicely and have awesome flavor. If you're looking for a vegan  whole wheat soft pretzel look here. If you want the multi-grain, just don't use the egg wash.  I'm doing these ones the traditional way, because they taste amazing! If you've never  taken the pretzels for a dip in a boiling water bath, you'll notice the difference in taste. I use baking soda in the water and it completely changes the flavor...in a good, very traditional way.  I don't know why I haven't shared this traditional method on the blog before today,especially with all the pretzel recipes I've shared over the years.
Chef Tess' Homemade Soft Sweet-n-Salty 
Whole Grain-n-seed Pretzels

2 cups warm water, (no hotter than 110 degrees)
1 T sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1T active dry yeast (one package)
22 oz (4 1/2 cups) Mountain Mills Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup  Teff
2T sesame seeds
2T Flax Seeds
2 tsp salt

Prep equipment:
parchment paper
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk
Pretzel salt or Kosher salt
Crystal cake decorating sugar (Any color! Be creative)

Directions: Combine the water, sugar oil and yeast in a small bowl. In a one gallon bowl combine the flour, teff, seeds and salt. Knead 5 minutes by hand or 4 minutes by machine. 

Form dough into a ball and place in a gallon size bucket or bowl with a lid. Allow to raise 1 hour (until your finger inserted in the dough leaves a hole.)

Preheat oven 450 degrees.  Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside. Bring 10 cups of water with the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8 quart 14 inch deep skillet.
The finished dough will weigh about 41 oz. Give or take. 
Divide the dough into 8 portions for large pretzels. Fold each into a rectangle. 
Roll tightly using your magical skilled nimble-fingers...and pinch as you go. Roll into a 24 inch strand of dough. 
If you want to see the tutorial on how to make them into pretzels go here.  Place the pretzels on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Raise 15 minutes. 
To make them heart shaped...Pinch them at the base...like this...

Place in boiling water for 30 seconds or so. Really that's not too long. It's just long enough. 
I use a large slotted spatula to remove them from the water and drain well. Place the moistened pretzels back on the cookie sheets, 4 to a tray. 
Whisk the egg yolk with a teaspoon of water and whisk well. With a pastry brush, carefully paint the tops of the pretzels with the egg yolk mixture. Then...we sprinkle ours with some colored sugar and kosher sea salt. Don't feel like you have to use the colored stuff...I just think it looks really fun!

I know it's pretty.  It's like a movie-star getting ready to dance. Boom-chicka-waa-waaa...(I digress).
Transfer trays to your 450 degree oven and bake 15-17 minutes.  Dip in nutella or Chocolate Fudge Honey sauce aka Chocolate Buzz.

There you go! Make some fabulous happy-heart pretzels! Valentine's day is coming and I know what I'm making!
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Anonymous said...

Hi was great to meet you at the Calif Honeyville Store. I'm inspired by this post and think it is a great way to treat my loved ones on Valentines, can't wait. I'm guessing you can freeze these and pop a thawed one in the microwave to bring them somewhat back to a freshly baked state. What do you think? Robin in SoCal

Chef Tess said...

Robin hi! Thank you!! Yes these freeze great! I put them in zip sandwich bags in the freezer. Pop one in a lunch box or defrost for about 30 seconds. It doesn't take long. Big hugs hun!!