We love making these in the cob oven with guests and campers! It’s a great excuse to get a little messy and creative, shaping pretzels, and dipping them in the sauce of your choice.
This recipe comes from Home Baking by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.
Yield: 8 small-medium sized pretzels
1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to room temperature
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon wheat malt syrup or barley malt syrup or honey
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
1/4 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 teaspoons milk, for egg wash
- Place the milk, yeast, and the malt syrup or honey in a medium bowl and stir until the yeast is dissolved.
- If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, place the flour and salt in the mixing bowl. Add the milk mixture and begin mixing. Add the butter pieces one at a time. You may need to add more flour so that the dough becomes uniform and begins to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Mix for 5 minutes.
If you are going to mix by hand, place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the milk mixture and start to incorporate the flour into the liquid. Add the butter pieces one at a time. Once you are able to, place the dough on a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. You may need to add more flour so that the dough becomes uniform.
- Place the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rest in a warm location for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough out into a long skinny rope, 24-30 inches long. Pick up one end with each hand and twist one around the other once or twice about 2 inches from the ends, then lay the dough down in a curve on the baking sheet and lay the ends onto the fatter center of the curve to make the classic pretzel shape. Let the pretzels rest for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 cup of water in a large saucepan until almost boiling. Add the baking soda and stir well to dissolve. Keep the water simmering until just before ready to use. One by one, gently place each pretzel in the soda water for 2 seconds, then brush the pretzel with the egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse salt at this point if you wish.
- Place the pretzels on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until pretzels are a deep golden brown. Allow to cool slightly.