Soft Pretzels from Epcot's Biergarten Restaurant

Some snacks can get you all tied up in knots just thinking about them, or making them. Today's recipe request is for the Soft Pretzels at Biergarten Restaurant in Epcot's Germany Pavilion.

Pretzel lovers are divided into two camps: crisp or chewy. Food historians say the soft form is the older of the two savory treats. For toppings, coarse salt and mustard are a must.

Biergarten serves a traditional German buffet featuring all the favorites.

Yield: 10 servings.

Ingredients:

1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 F-115 F)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs
2 Tblsp water
Coarse salt
Prepared mustard (optional)


Instructions:

1. Stir and dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in salt, sugar, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

2. Cut dough into 3-ounce pieces and roll into a ball. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Roll out dough into strings and then twist dough pieces in the middle. Pick up dough string with two hands, each hand holding one end. Attach the ends to the dough in a pretzel shape. Place pretzel on baking sheet and allow to proof until pretzel string thickness is about double as thick (place in a warm spot with a damp towel on top).

3. Whisk the eggs with water. Brush egg wash on top of pretzels after they proof. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Put on to baking sheets and bake at 400 F for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Dip in prepared mustard if desired.

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