My weakness knows no end for this one perfectly shaped and salted treat. Usually reserved for Mall sojourns, I really never gave account to whipping up supersized knots of bread in the confines of my little kitchen. But oh, how misguided I was! Pacing through in an online hunt, I discovered the World Wide Web flush with recipes, how- tos and step- two -three's on making the perfect pretzel or brezel, Danke! Weeding through, I found the one that seemed easier than most, with enough clamorings of general comment love. But thingthatcaughtmyattention was the requirement of my oft neglected kitchen accessory, an absurdly tubshaped Oster breadmaker.
Pretzelmaking in itself is not a difficult task, especially when you have hardest work done for you by this remarkable machine. In fact, a soft baked pretzel depends largely on balancing the curve between Perfect Knead and Great Rise. The mechanized coagulation actually does produce smooth elasticity which is so vital for proper pretzel looping. Good dough thus leads to superior bake- holler yes to chewysoft, densesmooth - those be compounds for your new digestive vocabulary.
And so we get to round one. Soft buttery knots of yeasted dough this was precisely NOT. At least in my maiden adventure. More stretchy than need be and bursting apart at all seams left the dough tasting like chewy bricks and me severely disappointed. So solid were these that their first cut made straight to the waste bin.
After much pondering and excessive hair pulling, a gentle rebalance was done, a here and there effort, reducing flour by a half cup here, throwing in a tablespoon more sugar and there, faster, maybe not,than speed was my fairly decent and well risen dough. Where trusted breadmachine flour and a better suited breadmaker's yeast turned pretzel making into absolute glee.
The only technique, I should say requiring small amounts of mastery would be the shaping of your pretzel knot. Though none of mine looked the same, the smooth elastic dough enabled myself to successfully wing through and turn the skinny snake forms into loop and tuck frames, almost perfect Thor builds. And when you employ the several hands at home, nothing could be easier and after school snacking will never be the same.
For those of you waiting for a pretzel making cue, get on it, for this is the one! Maybe even bests out that mall competition. A challenge indeed which no Wetzel or Auntie Anne can hold candle to.