So it had been raining all weekend and I was perusing the food gawker website when I came across some delicious looking bread. Who doesn’t love fresh hot bread right out of the oven? It’s like being wrapped up in a blanket of yumminess. I had bought some yeast thinking I would make my own bread and I am so glad I had it on hand. When you think of bread, there are so many flavor combinations its mind boggling. I could stay awake at night just thinking of all the different combinations I could make. But when I think about one of my favorite breads its gotta be pretzel bread. It’s like taking the tang of sourdough and the buttery flavor of Parker House rolls and BOOM… you’ve got the goodness of pretzel bread!
I love LOVE love pretzel bread on my burgers. In fact it should be a law that all burgers should be served on pretzel bread. Back to the bread… So my first attempt at proofing the yeast was a flop. The water wasn’t warm enough so the yeast didn’t do its bubble dance, boo :(. So this time I tried really warm water with the sugar already dissolved in the water/milk mixture, luckily this time it worked, bubbles galore! After that it was pretty simple, the directions were easy to follow. I ended up only using 2 cups of flour. My dough was still pretty tacky, but not too sticky. I oiled my bowl with olive oil and let it set for 1 hour. After the hour was up, I was nervous to peek under the cloth to see if the dough had risen, but it did!! I did a little happy dance to the bread gods, thank you for rising! So then I de-gassed the dough and put it into my kitchen aid stand mixer already greased with a little more olive oil. I let it beat for 1 minute, then added 1 tablespoon of bread flour. Within 3 minutes I had added another tablespoon of flour and was ready to let the dough rise again. After another hour I was ready to put the dough into the baking soda bath, 4 quarts boiling water to ½ c of baking soda. I preheated the oven to 400 degrees then I formed the dough into 2 round loaves. Once the water was ready, I placed one of the loaves in the water for 15 seconds on each side and did that with the second loaf as well. The dough looked super slimey so I wasn’t sure if I had done this correctly. After gently dabbing off the excess water, I placed them both on my cookie sheet with a silpat. I scored the tops and added kosher salt before baking them for 30 minutes. OOOHHH mamma!! To make the bread even better I brushed the tops of the bread with melted butter so there would be a nice soft top.
The bread was moist, fluffy, and super flavorful! I found this recipe by googling “pretzel bread” and clicking on Signature Pretzel Bread… Thank you so much Twobites for posting your recipe… its perfect!!
Mikes Signature Pretzel Bread
- 2 ¼ tsp yeast
- 1 cup water (110-120 degrees)
- 2 Tbsp room temperature milk
- 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar (I used light brown with a tsp of molasses, I didn’t have dark brown sugar on hand)
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 ½ – 3 cups bread flour
- 4 quarts water
- ½ cup baking soda
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- Add yeast, water, milk, brown sugar and butter into a large bowl, whisking until all ingredients are combined. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes for yeast to activate. Mix in kosher salt. Start by adding two cups of the flour to the bowl, combining it with other ingredients. Add more flour as it’s needed, reserving just a bit for coating the dough mat later.
- The dough should form a slightly tacky, but firm ball. Oil the bowl, place the dough ball in the bowl, and cover with a damp towel for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, knead the dough by hand or machine for at least 5-10 minutes until the dough is elastic and satiny. Place dough back in the bowl and recover for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring the 4 quarts of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, slowly add the baking soda. (If you do this part to quickly, you will have a bubbly mess!)
- Remove the dough from the bowl and gently degas it. Form two separate balls of dough, forming them into the shape you want. Drop one of the smaller balls into the baking soda bath for no longer than 30 seconds, turning it once to guarantee both sides covered. Drain the excess water from the dough and place it on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with second ball of dough.
- Sprinkle the kosher salt over the bread to your specific tastes, and make sure to use a knife to cut a small incision on the top of the bread so the dough has somewhere to expand.
- Cook the bread for 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once.
- Once removed from the oven, immediately brush the melted butter over the loaves to guarantee a soft crust. ( If you like a more crunchy top, I wouldn’t do this step.. but putting a little extra butter on something makes it super yummy