Ok. Let’s you and me have a chat. Cooking is one thing, it’s like art. Sure you can use a references, you can follow someone else’s style exactly and that’s totally valid especially when you’re learning. But then you start to develop your own flair and you don’t have to use references anymore.
Baking? Well I’ve always been told that baking is another beast entirely. Like alchemy, one wrong move and everything goes to shit. So when it was suggested that I make my own pretzels for Brewfest, I laughed out loud.
So I’ve been accused of taking the hardest possible route in life whenever given the chance, but I kinda draw the line at something I know I’m gonna fail at. So When I was sent to go get some pretzels for the dinner rush, I hit up our usual baker.
And… he was out.
Not just out. But like. OUT out. So… Making them myself it was.
And… this turned out not as hard as I thought! The scariest part was the boiling and even that wasn’t so bad.
So basically you mix yeast with sugar, salt and water and let it like… come to life? Don’t ask a druid about it unless you want a three hour lecture. Then add the flour and melted butter and mix until you have a shaggy dough.
Next comes the fun part — punching the everloving shit out of it until it the dough kinda springs back when poked. Something something druidspeak gluten. Slap a (clean) bar towel over it, stick it in a warm part of the kitchen and ignore it for like an hour. When you come back and it looks like it’s slowly trying to take over all of the Eastern Kingdoms (or about doubled in size), you’re ready to start forming.
While you form, get 10 cups of water and about 2/3 cups of baking soda boiling. This is very important don’t skip it.
Now turn out your dough divide it into 10 equal pieces and get either a big baking rack or two big cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
For each of the divisions, roll the lump of dough into a sort of snake about 18-20 inches long. Now you’re going to form your pretzel shape. This isn’t as hard as I thought it was either.
First, take the snake and curl it around with the tips crossing eachother by a few inches, like you’re trying to make a really crude Tauren head. Then twist the horns, and bring them down like Troll tusks. Boom. Pretzels.
Once the water is boiling, carefully move the pretzels one at a time into the water and let them boil for about half a minute to a minute. A slotted spoon or a spatula really helps with this. Go slow, don’t rush, do them one at a time. Then take them out, brush them with an egg beaten with a little water and spinkle with salt. Do this for all of them.
Stick them in the oven, bake for 12-15 minutes and try to keep people from mobbing the kitchen at the smell of how delicious they are.
Bone apple teeth.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 TBL brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp insant yeast (hit up your local druid)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 4 cups flour
- 1 egg beaten in 1 tbs water (for egg wash)
- Rough salt for sprinkling
- 10 cups water + 2/3 cups baking soda for water bath
- Combine warm water, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl
- Let sit until foamy (about 5 minutes)
- Add melted butter, then flour (slowly) and mix until a shaggy dough forms
- Roll out onto a floured surface and beat the shit out of it for a while
- Once stress-free, put it back in the bowl and let it think about what it did for an hour (until doubled in size and ready to come for you)
- Divide dough into 10 equal pieces
- Roll each piece into 20ish inch sections and form into a pretzel shape (remember: Tauren, Twist the horns, Troll)
- Soak each in a water bath for about a minute, then brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown