Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sourdough Soft Pretzels

My lovely jar of sourdough starter has now contributed to three loaves of bread and a batch of soft pretzels. My husband was craving soft pretzels after a day out, so I told him I'd try making sourdough pretzels. The dough takes 2-3 hours to proof, so plan a little ahead. Top them any way you choose. You can sprinkle with coarse sea salt for a classic soft pretzel, shredded sweetened coconut if you're craving sweet, or jalapenos and shredded cheddar Daiya if you're feeling spicy. Turbokid dove for the sesame pretzel and ate the entire thing.

(Clockwise) Jalapeno-Cheddar, Sesame, Coconut, Cinnamon Sugar
 Sourdough Soft Pretzels

2/3 cup sourdough starter
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt

For boiling:
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda

olive oil (for savory) or coconut oil (for sweet) for brushing
Optional topping ideas: coarse salt, cinnamon and sugar, minced garlic, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, nutritional yeast, sliced almonds, jalapenos and Daiya cheese, coconut shreds, etc.

Combine starter, water, flours, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Knead dough for several minutes, until dough is smooth and stretchy. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm spot for 2-3 hours, until dough has doubled in size.

Stir baking soda into water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Preheat oven to 450F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly oil the parchment paper.

Dough balls. Keep them covered so they don't dry out.

Divide dough into 8 portions and roll each piece into a rope about 24 inches long. Keep the dough covered with plastic wrap or a towel when not working with it so it doesn't dry out. Knot each rope into a pretzel shape. Boil the pretzels for 30 seconds, one at a time, in the baking soda water. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and drain.

Knotted pretzel, pre-boiling. Boiling sets the shape and helps the toppings stick.

Place the pretzels on the baking sheets. Lightly brush with olive oil or melted coconut oil, then sprinkle on topping of choice.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

Jalapeno and Daiya cheddar

Sweetened shredded coconut

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