While yeast baking is a satisfying pursuit, it does require patience. Most yeast-based recipes require at least two and a half hours, from start to finish. That’s why I was happy to find this “Hot Buttered Pretzel” recipe from King Arthur Flour: just 5 minutes kneading (even by hand), a 30 minute rise, 5 minute rest before shaping, a 10 minute shaped rise, and 9 minutes in the oven. Slightly more than an hour, start to finish, to produce delicious soft pretzels.
See my pretzels at left–if you attempt this recipe, be sure to stretch the dough ropes to the recommended full 28 inches before twisting into shape. Otherwise, the pretzel shape will be lost during the second rise and baking.
I tweaked the recipe a bit, using brown sugar instead of white and substituting 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour for some of the all purpose flour specified in the original instructions. Some were topped with salt and others with mixed seeds; in retrospect, cinnamon & sugar or garlic butter would also have been nice. (No, not on the same pretzel.)
So if you get the urge to bake but don’t have a long block of time, try these soft buttered pretzels. And do remember King Arthur’s free baking demonstration in Kenner this Saturday, January 28, 2012 (see details here).