february 7, 2010

One of our Super Bowl snacks, adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible.

Pretzel Bread

1 1/2 cup bread flour
3/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup water, room temperature
egg white
coarse salt, for sprinkling

Whisk together flour and yeast, then whisk in salt. In a KitchenAid mixer on low speed (#2), add water to the flour mixture until flour is moistened. Raise the speed on the mixer to medium (#4) and knead for 7 minutes with a dough hook. The dough should be very stiff and only somewhat elastic.

Place dough onto a counter and cut into 12 equal pieces. Shape them into flattened balls. Let them sit covered for 1 hour. Then roll each piece into a ball and shape into a tapered 4″ football. Set on a baking sheet 2″ apart. Cover baking sheet with oiled plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes; dough should rise very slightly. Refrigerate 1 hour. Add two shallow slashes to each football, then brush with egg white and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Thirty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place oven shelf at lowest level and put a cast-iron skillet on the floor of the oven. Quickly place baking sheet in oven and toss 1/2 cup ice cubes in cast-iron skillet. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove and cool.

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