Monday, November 28, 2011

Pretzel Bread

 The scent of bread baking has to be one of my favorite smells. I used to bake all of our bread and loved having our house filled with that wonderful smell, but since Max was born I have made bread from scratch probably one time. 

I first read about Pretzel Bread on Jeni's blog and was intrigued, but lazy. Then I saw it again when Jessica of Twin Fibers mentioned it last week and after seeing her picture of it I knew I had to try it. I am also a sucker for recipes that use interesting techniques, and dropping the balls of dough in a baking soda bath sounded fun. It was fun, and the bread was delicious!

Mike’s Signature Pretzel Bread - makes 2 small loaves

2 ¼ tsp yeast
1 cup water (110-120 degrees)
2 Tbsp room temperature milk
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp kosher salt
2 ½ – 3 cups bread flour
4 quarts water
½ cup baking soda
Kosher salt to taste
2 Tbsp melted butter

Add yeast, water, milk, brown sugar and butter into a large bowl, whisking until all ingredients are combined.  Let mixture rest for 10 minutes for yeast to activate.  Mix in kosher salt.  Start by adding two cups of the flour to the bowl, combining it with other ingredients.  Add more flour as it’s needed, reserving just a bit for coating the dough mat later.

The dough should form a slightly tacky, but firm ball.  Oil the bowl, place the dough ball in the bowl, and cover with a damp towel for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, knead the dough by hand or machine for at least 5-10 minutes until the dough is elastic and satiny.  Place dough back in the bowl and recover for 1 hour. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring the 4 quarts of water to a boil.  When the water is boiling, slowly add the baking soda.

Remove the dough from the bowl and gently degas it.  Form two separate balls of dough, forming them into the shape you want.  Drop one of the smaller balls into the baking soda bath for no longer than 30 seconds, turning it once to guarantee both sides covered.  Drain the excess water from the dough and place it on an oiled baking sheet.  Repeat with second ball of dough.

Sprinkle the kosher salt over the bread to your specific tastes, and make sure to use a knife to cut a small incision on the top of the bread so the dough has somewhere to expand.

Bake the bread for 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once.

Once removed from the oven, immediately brush the melted butter over the loaves to guarantee a soft crust.

Recipe source:  Two Bites in Suburbia

**As a side note, last night I tried Debbie's recipe for Italian Tomato and Sausage Soup and it was delicious!

So hop on over to A Quilter's Table and see what other deliciousness people are linking up today!


  1. have you tried the no-knead bread? :)

  2. Mmm, that sounds yummy! Although I do have to admit that I very rarely eat bread, so I'd no doubt eat one slice and that would be it, which would be a total waste! Hope eveyrone enjoyed it :o)

  3. Wow - that DOES sound interesting!! Looks delish, Toni!! Thank for linking up!

  4. OH my, yum! Tempted to leave work right now and hunt down some fresh-baked bread.

  5. This looks wonderful Toni. I've never heard of immersing dough into baking soda water...intriguing! Wonderful photo - need to take some photography lessons from you. :)

  6. That sounds so yummy! Yours came out really pretty, too! :)

  7. Wow, this looks amazing. I even think I can smell it!!

  8. YUM! That bread looks goo-ood! I used to make all of my bread too but it's so hard to keep up with all of the hungry boys around here.

  9. Looks great - bet there could be a Beaver Badge for you too! x

  10. This looks awesome! At one point in my baking adventures I thought I might try whipping up traditional pretzels using lye and everything, but this looks delicious, minus needing to wear protective gear. ;) Thanks for sharing Toni!

  11. i pinned that recipe a while ago and am looking forward to trying it. it looks great!

  12. I love pretzels! Definitely giving that one a try (or will maybe make my husband do it, he's a chef...!)

  13. Sounds yummy! I haven't bought bread from the store in over a year. I love baking it and having control over what is in it.

  14. Thanks for sharing - it looks beautiful baking in my oven right now!