Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Brezeln (and AC/DC)

BACK IN BLACK
HIT THE SACK
I'VE BEEN TOO LONG AND I'M GLAD TO BE BACK!

Sorry. I shouldn't just burst into AC/DC like that, should I?

What I really mean to say, is: I'm baaack! (and dying of heatstroke - but that's not really important, is it?)

I had a really, really awesome time in Europe. Seeing as I've never even been overseas before, it was an experience I'll never forget (I hope). I loved all the different foods that I got to try; although, I really missed eating peanut butter and meat pies (Not together. That would be gross as. But I did not see any peanut butter or any bakeries with pies the whole time I was away). I've also been really inspired to try to make pasta and gnocchi, though I haven't actually gotten around to it yet...oops. However, I did attempt giant pretzels, oder Brezeln auf Deutsch, and they, uh, mostly worked. They don't look the same, but they tasted pretty similar so I'm happy.

So yeah. I hope you didn't miss me too much.
Don't worry, I'm sure I missed you, so it's all good.
Yeah.
Recipe time.













Pretzels
15g of fresh yeast or 7g of dried yeast (I used dried)
1/4 teaspoon of sugar
1 cup of lukewarm milk
30g of butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 eggwhite, lightly beaten with 1/2 teaspoon of cold water
2 tablespoons of coarse sea salt


  1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 2 tablespoons of the milk (make sure the milk is not too hot - if it is, the yeast will die). Set aside until it froths. Stir the butter into the remaining milk.
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, and pour in the yeast/sugar/milk mixture and the milk/butter mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined, then turn onto a floured board and knead with your hands until the dough is smooth - about 8-10 minutes. It's quite a stiff dough, so don't worry if it doesn't look like normal bread dough.
  3. Rinse out your bowl, and lightly grease it with butter. Return the dough to the bowl, cover, and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about an hour). To check if the dough is ready, lightly poke your finger in it. If it bounces straight back, it is too early to start kneading again. If it stays squished down, then you're ready for the next step!
  4. Punch the dough down, and knead again, for about 4 minutes. Form the dough into a 30-centimetre-long-sausage, or another shape in which you can easily cut it evenly into 8 pieces. 
  5. To form the pretzels, roll one of the small pieces of dough into a long-ish sausage, about 25cm long. Holding both ends of the sausage in either hand, make a knot in the dough and press each end back onto the circle of dough.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190C. Half-fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring to the boil. Add the pretzels, one at a time, and cook them until the puff up and rise to the surface (this takes only a few seconds). Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a lined baking tray.
  7. Once all the pretzels have been boiled in this way, brush them with the egg white and sprinkle with the sea salt. Bake the pretzels for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown and crisp. Allow to cool on wire racks.
And there you have it! 
Shall I close with more AC/DC? Erm...no, better not.












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