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October is National Pretzel Month and #FoodieEztravangza is celebrating. This was great for me because I follow Alton Brown on Twitter and almost everyday he retweets pictures of homemade pretzels. I needed a reason to push pretzels further up on my To-Bake list. Pretzels are relatively easy to make. The dough is great to work with. The baking soda bath is simple enough and they bake fairly quickly. I decided to use my sourdough starter because I think it gives me dirty looks whenever I reach for commercial yeast. My starter does not have a strong tang. If yours is like mine, and you really want a strong sourdough flavour, feel free to proof overnight or make an overnight sponge with the starter and some of the flour and water.
Not having a strong tang does mean that I am free to play with flavours without them being overpowered by the sourdough flavour. However, I couldn't decide what flavour pretzels I wanted so I kept them plain and then dipped in various things as I ate throughout the days. I cut some of the dough into smaller pieces and dunked those in butter and cinnamon-sugar. That was an excellent decision. I also had cheese, a spicy sauce and even hummus.
Next, I think I will try stuffing my pretzels. Peanut butter seems fairly common. Chocolate? My favourite guava paste? Caramel is also celebrated in October and that was an option for us too. I really wanted to stuff my pretzels with caramel. But I was fairly certain that I would make a huge mess. I'll come back to it though. I think I will freeze (or harden) long strips caramel. Put the strips in the dough rope and proceed as usual. Do you think that would work?
8 oz 166% mature sourdough starter
6 oz water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 oz melted butter
18 oz flour
2 teaspoons salt
Baking Soda Bath
5 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoon water
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Combine all the dough ingredients except salt with a stand mixer until just combined. Let it rest for 20 minutes then add salt. Knead until it forms a smooth dough - approximately 4 - 5 minutes. Cover and let rise until doubled. The amount of time this takes depends on the ambient temperature and the strength of your starter. This took about 4 hours for me. You can also do an overnight bulk ferment in the fridge.
When the dough has risen, divide into 3 oz pieces. I had 11 pieces. Roll each out to a 22 to 24 inch rope. Shape into the classic pretzel shape or cut into 2 inch pieces.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Place a sheet of parchment or a baking mat on a half sheet pan. Bring the 5 cups of water to a boil and then add the baking soda. Place full sized pretzels one to two at a time (depending on the size of your pot) into the water. Use a spoon to spoon water over the top so that the entire pretzel is exposed to the solution. After 30 seconds, use a slotted spoon to remove the pretzel and place on the baking sheet. Beat the egg and the two tablespoons of water and brush over each pretzel. Sprinkle with pretzel salt, if using.
Bake 15-16 minutes until golden brown. Pretzel bites will take 10-12 minutes.
For cinnamon sugar pretzels, dip the pretzels in melted butter. Add sugar and cinnamon to a zip top bag and shake each buttered pretzel in the mixture.
We are a group of bloggers who love to blog about food! Each month we will decide on an all-famous National Monthly Food Holiday in which we will base our recipes around. This month the ingredient is pretzels with an optional ingredient of caramel. Yes, October is National Pretzel Month along with a whole array of other delightful things!! Get excited!! We hope you all enjoy our delicious pretzel treats this month and come back to see what we bring for you next month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.
- Apple Cinnamon Pretzels with Creamy Caramel Dip from Rebekah at Making Miracles
- Apple Pie Stuffed Pretzel Bites with Caramel Dipping Sauce from Lauren at From Gate to Plate
- Bacon and Egg Breakfast Pretzels from Cindy at Cindy's Recipes and Writing
- Beer Pretzel Bread Bowls from Susan at Love from the Kitchen
- Caramel Apple Pretzels from Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Cheese Stuffed Soft Pretzels from Stacy at Food Lust People Love
- Chili Cheese Pretzel Bites from Ashley at The Recipe Rebel
- Cinnamon Raisin Soft Pretzels from Heather at girlichef
- Easy Bacon Cheddar Pretzels from Heidi at Heidi's Wanderings
- Hopped Up Pretzel Bites with Beer-Gouda Dip from Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Marble Chocolate Dipped Pretzels from Marissa at Rae Gun Ramblings
- Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Bites from Emily at It Bakes Me Happy
- Pretzel Rolls with Caramel Dipping Sauce from Lauren at Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Soft Pumpkin Pretzels from Alexis at We Like to Learn as We Go
- Soft Pretzel Cinnamon and Sugar Sticks from Ashlee at Ashlee Marie
- Sourdough Pretzels from Kelly at Passion Kneaded
- Spicy Cheddar and Jalapeno Pretzel Bites from Kimberly at Rhubarb and Honey
- Sun Dried Tomatoes and Cheese Soft Pretzels from Rachael from Eazy Peazy Mealz