Big Soft Pretzels

MyTalk producer, Dawn McClain has many talents and hobbies – one being her passion for baking.  She had no experience prior to the pandemic but decided to spend more time in the kitchen when it hit.  She shares one of her favorite recipes with us.

Dan Beasley Harling’s Pretzel recipe (Presented by Dawn McClain)

Dan Beasley-Harling was on the 2018 season of Great British Bake-Off. He is one of the many talented former Bake-Off stars who teach at Bake With a Legend. You can find his website here with links to all of his social media hereClick here for more information about Bake With a Legend and to sign up for classes.

500g bread flour or 3 cups & 2 tbspn
1 1/4 cup of very warm water (98 degrees)
2 tsp dry active yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp baking soda (For boiling water)
4 tsp caster sugar or superfine/bakers sugar
2 tsp salt
Sea salt
1 egg white

Basting brush
Large burger flipping size spatula with open slits
2 sheet pans
Parchment paper or baking mats
Pot for boiling water
Rubber Spatula for mixing dough
Mixing bowls
Oven temperature:390F for 18 minutes.

1. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper
2. In a large mixing bowl, add the warm water (about body temperature) first
3. Next add the yeast to the water, stir briefly to mix
4. Pour all the bread flour on top of the yeast and water, forming a layer/barrier from the next ingredients you will pour on top.
5. Add the salt, caster sugar and olive oil evenly on top of the bread flour layer as to not mix the yeast with these ingredients, as they can stop the yeast activation process.
6. Wait a few minutes to let the yeast “feed”on the flour to activate it.
7. Now with a rubber spatula mix all the ingredients together as best you can, then get your hands involved. The dough will at first be shaggy and should be sticky.
8. On a clean surface knead the bread dough for ten minutes until it is in a smooth round ball. No need to be gentle with this. The dough should evenly be springy and stretchy.
9. Now pour some olive oil in the bottom a clean mixing bowl that has enough room for the dough to rise.
10. Add the dough to the mixing bowl and cover all sides with oil. This will just cover the dough so it doesn’t dry out.
11. Cover this bowl with plastic wrap or a shower cap and set in a warm dry place for 45 minutes.
12. After 45 minutes, your dough should double in size.
13. Turn on your oven to 390
14. Boil a medium size part of water with 3tbsp of baking soda added one it startsBoiling
15. Now it is time to deflate your dough and get as much air out of it by flattening it with your hands into a rectangle about 12×16.
16. Cut this rectangle into 4 equal parts, then into 8 sections (the long way)
17. Now pinch each section closed at the ends and at the top like a tiny taco!
18. Roll each jumbo hotdog sized dough pieces (one at a time) into a long rope at least two feet long.
19. Now to shape the pretzel, make a U, take the ends and twist it twice. Fold the ends down to the opposite sides. Try to make equal holes. (I had to google a pretzel, don’t worry!)
20. Place a pretzel in boiling water with baking soda for just 10 seconds.
21. Place on parchment lined baking sheets
22. Baste each pretzel with egg white
23. Sprinkle with sea salt
24. Bake in oven at 390F for 18 minutes
25. This makes 8 soft and chewy pretzels


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