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7.18.2012

Homemade Pretzel Knots

Pretzel Knots and Cheese Fondue are on the menu today!
For the DOUGH you need: 2 cups Unbleached Bread Flour, 2 T. Brown Sugar, 1 1/2 t. Salt, 1 t. Instant Yeast, 1/2 cup Warm Water, 1/4 cup Buttermilk, and 1 T. Vegetable Oil.

The recipe called for a stand mixer and dough hook, but... I do not have one of those. Therefore, these are directions on how to make it like I did. It might be helpful for you to know ahead of time that your hands are going to get a little messy. 
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. 
Add water, buttermilk, and oil. 
Wet your hands with water and begin mixing the dough together. Continue to lightly wet your hands until all the ingredients have combined. Then stretch and pull the dough for about 2 minutes. 
Lightly oil a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in the fridge for an hour. 
 After an hour in the fridge, take your dough out and pull it apart into 8 pieces over a lightly floured surface. Roll it out into an 8 or 9 inch rope. Tie it in a knot and place the ends underneath. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for another 30 minutes. 
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Before baking the pretzels, you will need to poach them.

For POACHING you will need: 8 cups water, 1/4 cup beer, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1/4 cup brown sugar.
Combine all the poaching ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, but keep it at a lively simmer.
Drop the dough, 4 at a time, into the simmering liquid. Let it sit for about 30 seconds, gently flip them and let them sit for another 30 seconds. Using a skimmer/slotted spoon, move the dough from the liquid to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let them cool for 5 minutes.
Baste the dough with vegetable oil and sprinkle coarse salt on top.
Bake them for 15 minutes, or until deeply brown.
Let them cool slightly, but make sure you eat them while they are warm! If there are leftovers (I know, silly to even consider) DO NOT store them in an air tight container (they will shrivel up). Instead, leave them out uncovered over night and then use Ziploc bags to store them in the freezer. Reheat from frozen at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes.  

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