Bavarian Soft Pretzels
- 1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 ¼ cup water, warm
- 3 cups + 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- As needed cooking spray
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp salted butter, melted
- As needed coarse salt, for topping
- As needed poppy seeds, for topping
- As needed parmesan cheese, grated, for topping
- In a small bowl, combine the active dry yeast with the warm water and mix. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the 3 cups all purpose flour, white sugar, and salt. Using the paddle attachment on a low speed, add the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the 4th cup of flour and mix until combined.
- Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead the dough for 7 – 10 minutes. The dough should be sticky, but not tacky. Add up to another ½ cup of flour, if needed.
- Remove dough from the mixer and knead by hand for 3 minutes, folding over itself and turning a ¼ turn each time. Place dough in a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray, and cover with plastic wrap. Proof for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 ½ hours.
- Once the first proof is complete, divide the dough into 8 – 10 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a log. Let rest for a few minutes and continue to shape the log until it is approximately 24” in length. You can easily stretch the dough by holding each end and twirling the dough.
- Mix the ¼ cup water and baking soda together in a bowl. Dip each piece of dough in the water and baking soda mixture. This will give the pretzels their distinct dark brown color.
- Shape the logs into a pretzel shape. First create a U shape with the dough. Cross the tip end of the U over one another twice. Take the ends of the U and fold them over to the bottom of the U.
- Place the pretzels on baking trays lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and place inside your Miele Combi Steam Oven set to Combination Mode, then Convection Bake, at 100°C with 100% moisture for 8 minutes. Add a second stage, and set it to Combination Mode, then Convection Bake at 205°C with 60% moisture for 10 minutes. Let the pretzels cook.
- Once the program is completed, remove the baking trays from the oven without turning it off. Brush each pretzel with melted butter and sprinkle with some coarse salt or poppy seeds. Place the trays back in the Combi Steam Oven and select Add an Additional Program, 220°C with 0% moisture for 8 – 10 minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown.
- Remove the pretzels from the oven and brush with additional melted butter, then top with some parmesan cheese if you prefer, before serving.
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