Pretzels Three Ways – Twisted, Stuffed, and Boiled! (Whole-Grain, Fresh Wheat, Soft-Baked)

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It’s finally time to share my pretzel recipe!! Yippee!!!!! I have been wanting to write this one up for a while but had to tweek it a bit first.  I didn’t actually change the recipe much – just altered it for soaking freshly ground flour.  I have made these three times in the last two months, this time with the express purpose of making some healthier pretzel dogs (like what Auntie Anne’s serves at the mall) and experimenting more with the bagel variation.  Even though it is Thursday now, I’m just up to DAY TWO OF THE SUGAR DETOX as far as summarizing my “no-sugar-added” plans for greatness.  (Haha – we’ll see how well I really have done at the end of next Sunday….what? Did you say Easter candy was on sale at Walgreens today??)  Let’s see…did I run on Tuesday? What did I do? Only two days ago, and it’s so foggy…Just checked the Nike log and found out that I did not, in actuality, work out on Tuesday.  I did, however, play the bagpipes for about an hour, which is quite the achievement.  With all the nursing, cooking, baking, and other things going on (still unpacking, too!) it’s really tough to find not only the time, but the energy, the stamina, and the impetus to actually run AND play the bagpipes both in one day, since they are each such “physical” occupations.  I do remember that I cleaned out our bathroom (unpacked 2 1/2 boxes, filled up an entire moving box with trash), my closet (all the girls’ dressup outfits, shoes, scarves, crowns, and gloves are staged there, as well as my clothes and shoes), and our bedroom (didn’t “finish” the room but did put away four baskets of laundry,) so that should count for something.

What happens in our house when a very large plastic bag is left lying about

What happens in our house when a very large plastic bag is left lying about

Thankfully, now that it's warming up I've found every glove and hat in the house (note the sarcasm), and it fell upon Claire the next day to organize them into a plastic over-the-door shoes holder.

Thankfully, now that it’s warming up I’ve found every glove and hat in the house (note the sarcasm), and it fell upon Claire the next day to organize them into a plastic over-the-door shoes holder.

Hat found in a box in my bathroom, modeled by Claire

Hat found in a box in my bathroom, modeled by Claire

Here’s the food that fueled my cleaning spree that day:

protein shake: frozen banana, protein powder, decaf coffee, cocoa powder, vanilla stevia drops, coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk, ice

lunch: Shepherd’s pie – because although I had lamented that the casserole dish was empty the other day, my husband had hidden the leftovers in the fridge for me. 🙂

unsweetened cinnamon iced tea

Snacks: ricecake with almond butter and banana, chocolate lace cookies – more like chocolate balls

Dinner: 2 quesadillas (corn tortilla with melted cheddar), 3 carrots

Snack: a pear, sliced, sprinkled with cinnamon with smoked gouda on top, broiled for a few minutes

Pear with cinnamon

Pear with cinnamon

Broiled, about to be devoured by John and me

Broiled, about to be devoured by John and me

Late night: (I was up late getting the two recipes of pretzel dough soaking, the one batch for bread, and the scone dough.  It took a while because I was researching scone recipes for about an hour…)  more chocolate balls, one yellow bell pepper dipped into hummus bit by bit

Now on to the pretzel recipe, with my pictures and variations – of course, if you’d like “simple,” and you don’t grind your wheat berries into flour, just go straight to the link for the original recipe and follow her methods.  They are specific to making a yeast dough, meaning they are completely different from my soaking methods.  Thankfully, if you’re soaking your flour normally, this recipe is just as easy as making any other yeast bread with soaked flour.

Here are a few to start with – the flour soaking overnight with buttermilk, butter, and water; the yeast proofing; the very sticky dough once its been kneaded and before transferring it to a bowl to rise; and the dough after its rise.

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 Laura’s Amazing Soft Pretzels:
Adapted for soaking by Coreyanne
Soak:
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
8 cups whole wheat flour
The next day:
Proof the yeast:

1/2 cup very warm water
2 T. yeast
2 t. honey
Combine the soaked mixture, the proofed yeast and:
4 t. salt
3 Tbsp Gluten (and a bit of extra flour if dough is too sticky after the knead.)
Knead 5-10 minutes in mixer (definitely too sticky for hand-kneading.)
Let rise about 1 1/2 hours until doubled.  Punch down the dough.  Form into pretzels by grabbing small golf-ball-sized balls and rolling it out into a thin snake.  Cross the dough over itself twice, then fold back to the center and pinch.  (See pictures. Also, on her website, there is a helpful tutorial.)
Bake: at 350F for 15-20 minutes until starting to brown on top just a bit.  As soon as you take them out – brush with melted butter and top – with coarse salt, cinnamon/sugar mixture, or some other favorite topping.
I didn’t roll them out skinny enough the first time (when these pictures were taken), so they look a bit too puffy.  I tried them one day a few months ago just as pretzels, then last month stuffed with meat and a few as bagels, and then Wednesday with lots more bagels, just a few pretzels for snacking, and mostly the pretzel dogs.  A versatile dough that makes anything yummier!!
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Here are a few of the pictures from the pretzel dogs, and more pretzels – last time with lil’ smokies, and this time with hot dogs and kielbasa:
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yum X 5

yum X 5 – this time I used an egg-wash (1 egg beaten with a few Tbsp milk) on the outside right before baking.

ran out of the healthy dogs, using kielbasa now (not suitable for my no-sugar challenge, but I can have one of these puppies next week!)

ran out of the healthy dogs, using kielbasa now (not suitable for my no-sugar challenge, but I can have one of these puppies next week!)

healthy chicken hot dog from Applegate farms, made yummier with a blanket of pretzel dough!

healthy organic chicken hot dog from Applegate farms, made yummier with a blanket of pretzel dough!

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Okay – ONE MORE THING! (then I can put our dinner together and feed the baby…)
BAGELS!!! Okay, so they probably don’t count as “real” bagels, but they sure look, taste, smell, and feel like them, so I’m going to persist in calling them bagels.  They are not, however, chewy like bagels.
I formed them last night, let them rise for about 15 minutes, refrigerated them, boiled them today for 1-2 minutes per side, then baked them at 500F for 15 minutes.
Bagels waiting to be boiled - I formed them last night and let them rise a bit, then refrigerated them overnight.

Bagels waiting to be boiled – I formed them last night and let them rise a bit, then refrigerated them overnight.

water for boiling, with about a Tablespoon of barley malt syrup

water for boiling, with about a Tablespoon of barley malt syrup

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boiling the bagels for 1-2 minutes each side

boiling the bagels for 1-2 minutes each side

post-boil, ready to bake

post-boil, ready to bake

Ready to eat! (or freeze for another happy day!)

Ready to eat! (or freeze for another happy day!)

Here’s a picture from last month when I cut into one of the bagels (saving the ones I made Wednesday for breakfast tomorrow so I have yet to taste this batch):

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2 thoughts on “Pretzels Three Ways – Twisted, Stuffed, and Boiled! (Whole-Grain, Fresh Wheat, Soft-Baked)

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