It's time for another round up of Sourdough Surprises! This month we made pretzels, and they were a lot of fun to make! I ended up using two different recipes. The first recipe I tried was this one, and while Shelley got awesome results from it, I just...didn't. My dough never rose, and I ended up with the toughest, chewiest pretzels ever. So I turned to a different recipe and got much better results!!!
I did two kinds of pretzels - one actual pretzel shape, and then I also made some little pretzels sticks that I coated in cinnamon and sugar. Oh yum! They were awesome! We all loved snacking on them!
Some fun facts about pretzels: Pretzels were invented by Christian monks and given to children who had learned their prayers (the twists are supposed to resemble arms folded in prayer). The pretzel became a sign of lent, because it was a good food that could be eaten while still abstaining from meat and dairy products. Families would hide pretzels for children to find instead of Easter eggs! I had thought that there was some significance to how many times the pretzel was twisted, but I couldn't find any facts about that at all, so maybe I just made it up!
Sourdough Pretzels (King Arthur Flour)
Yield: 12 pretzels
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup unfed sourdough starter, straight from the fridge
3 cups flour
1/4 cup dry, powdered milk
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
1 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP water
course ground salt
2 TBSP butter, melted
Mix and knead the dough ingredients until it is fairly smooth (it should be fairly sticky).
Cover the dough and let it rest for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface, fold the dough over itself a few times to deflate it.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces.
Roll each piece of dough into an 18" rope.
Shape the rope into a pretzel!
Dissolve the sugar (for the topping) in the water and brush onto the tops of each pretzel.
Sprinkle the pretzels lightly with salt.
Bake the pretzels for 25-35 minutes, or until they are lightly golden brown.
Remove the pretzels from the oven and brush with melted butter.