Soft olive oil Pretzels

pretzelsThey will definitely disappear right after you take them out of the oven. These pretzels are so delicious, they are now on my weekly to-cook list. Traditional pretzels are made with butter but I used olive oil for a healthier version. And since I couldn’t get a hold of lye, I used baking soda in the water I boiled them. They don’t come out as brown but the taste is all there. I really don’t know why pretzels are usually served with mustard. I love to serve/eat them with “Philadelphia” type cream cheese.

For the dough

  • 600gr bleached all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 3 tsp dried active yeast (11gr)
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cup lukewarm water
  • ¼ cup olive oil

For the water bath and baking

  • 2 lt water
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbs water
  • coarse sea salt to sprinkle

Method

Make the dough. In a large bowl (or a mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook), mix the flour, yeast and sugar. Add salt and mix again. You do this so that the salt doesn’t come in direct contact with the yeast or it will kill it. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the water and olive oil. Mix with your hands or dough hook until a soft dough forms. Put dough in a large oiled bowl and let it rise for one hour (cover bowl with a kitchen towel).

After one hour, punch down dough and divide in 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a log, about 45 cm long. If the dough doesn’t strech easily let it rest for ten minutes or so. What I usually do is stretch all 10 pieces into short logs, and then, starting from the first log, I stretch them to the required length.

Shape the pretzels and put them in parchment lined baking trays. Let them rise for 10 minutes.

shediagramma pretzels

Preheat oven to 230 C. While pretzers puff up, prepare the water bath. In a large saucepan combine the water with the baking soda and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a steady simmer. Plunge pretzels, one by one in hot water for 15 seconds. Drain very well and place back in the baking tray. Continue with the rest of the pretzels.

Brush pretzels with the egg wash and sprinkle with a little bit of salt. Bake for 12 minutes until dark brown in colour and cooked through. Lwet them rest for 10 minutes on wire racks before serving.

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