Adapted from Daniel Leader's recipe. Looks easy but not so easy...
I tried this recipe last week and it was a total failure. I threw the whole bunch away after spending a whole day working on it.
I've decided that last week what went wrong was:
1. Instant Yeast was not working well.
2. Dough was too hard
3. I didn't let the dough rise properly
4. I added flour when shaping
5. Because it didn't rise properly, I had to boil for a long time, the whole thing was too hard
So, this week, I just had to try again. I cannot believe I can't get it right.
Here's the recipe.
1. Mix flour, yeast, salt and butter - using a mixer.
2. Mix water and starter, pour into dry ingredients. Knead well.
3. Let the dough rise. As its winter here, I had to let is rise for about 8 hours. It should rise nicely into a dome shape.
4. Pour out and divide. I didn't want my pretzel too big, cut into 16 pieces. About 78-90g each.
5. Do not add flour at this stage. Shape it round first, let rest for 5 mins.
6. Roll it length wise, like a pencil. Shaping it takes a bit of practice. Mine is still not perfect, but at least it took shape.
7. Put onto a tray with baking paper. Let it refrigerate over night. Winter here, I just left it at my yard, how convenient, and my fridge is not messed up.
8. After 9 hours, boil water, add baking soda 1 teaspoon at a time.
9. Drop the dough 1 at a time. It will sink to the bottom and get a little stuck. I used a scoop to shake it off. The dough will float after about 10 sec. If it doesn't float, something is wrong. Drop the 2nd one in and pick up the 1st one out. It will look a little yellowish, bubble on the surface, expand a little.
10. After all boiled, oven ready at 175C, not too high, and bake for 30-35 mins till reddish brown. You will see it slowly bloom, and you know you got it right!
Couple of things that I had to adjust:
1. I added starter. Because my starter is so active and bubbly I just had to use it. And I had more confident that the dough will rise nicely.
2. The original recipe called for only 300g of water. Somehow, it was so hard after the 1st mix. I just had to soften it by adding water.
3. It called for 80g of soda, I used a small pot, and I just just about 4 teaspoonful of baking soda. The last time, it smell quite bad with so much soda.
And here's my Pretzel Bun and Pretzel, I'm so happy that it turned out so well.
It was crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy inside. This is best when hot!