Monday, June 24, 2013

Pretty and Wheaty Pretzels

This recipe is from the cookbook Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes.

Recipe: see page 79 of Whole Grain Vegan Baking.
I messed up this recipe a bit. First, I've never made pretzels before so I was kind of excited, and I got a little carried away with the pretzel salt. I've never used that before, and it makes the pretzels look pretty. The recipe said to use just enough to cover the tops, but I may have interpreted that too liberally.  I had to brush most of it off before eating them because it made the pretzels too salty for my tastes.

The other critical part of making pretzels is to dunk them in boiling water before placing them on a sheet to bake in the oven. The water has baking soda in it, and I ended up putting 2x more baking soda in the bath than the recipe called for. That really made them salty. I was supposed to use a large saucepan that held 8 cups of water, but my largest only holds 4. I didn't think through that little math problem.

Part of the recipe calls for dissolving the yeast in the coconut milk, and that was kind of weird too. The yeast clumped up and wouldn't dissolve, so I stuck my hands in to try to break it up, and that just made my hands sticky with the wet yeast. I was sure these weren't going to rise, and surprised these came out as well as they did.

The pretzels have a short baking time at a high temperature. That makes them soft and chewy. I was looking around the internet and noticed that recipes for crunchy pretzels tend to have a longer baking time at a lower temperature. I guess that makes the pretzel dry out. This is a good recipe for soft pretzels.

Regardless of how I messed up, I think the photo gives you a good idea of what the recipe looks like.

Ingredients: white whole wheat flour, maple syrup, canned light coconut milk, active dry yeast, fine sea salt, pretzel salt, baking soda, cooking spray, water.