Sweet pretzel

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RECIPE: Okay so these may look more like buns than pretzels, but that’s because when I was twisting I didn’t allow for additional rise. I followed the recipe provided with slightly less glacé orange than listed.

PREPARATION: I’m not sure what’s expected at the stage where you cover the dough with the remaining flour. My dough didn’t rise much – certainly not doubling in size and I felt it was because of the weight of the flour on top. It rose well on the second rise however, so it didn’t end up being a problem. I twisted the dough into pretzel shapes on my bench where they became a bit sticky. Not only were they sticky, it was hard to keep the shape right when transferring to the baking sheet. I’d recommend forming the pretzel straight onto the baking sheet, so you don’t need to move it once it’s twisted. There were still small gaps before baking, but the pretzels rose significantly once baked. When you’re twisting, double the size of the gaps to what you think they should have.

IMPRESSION: As I noted above, I didn’t achieve the air space between the twists, so it was more like a bun than a pretzel. It was lovely warm because that brought out the orange flavour more. I’d probably make them smaller next time, and of course make my twists with much bigger spaces between the ropes.

Recipe from Patisserie by Christophe Felder

Sweet Pretzels

15g fresh yeast
45ml lukewarm milk
325g all purpose flour
3 eggs
75g granulated sugar
15g vanilla sugar
1 tsp salt
115g butter, diced and softened
80g candied orange peel, finely diced
15ml orange flower water

Crumble the yeast into a large bowl. Pour in the milk and whisk to dissolve the yeast. Add 70g of the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until the dough is elastic. Cover with the remaining flour. Let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 30 minutes. Add the eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla sugar, and salt. Beat with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead in the butter with your hands until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add the orange peel and orange flower water and knead until just combined. Shape the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for three hours.

Divide the dough into thirds, each about 270g. On a lightly floured work surface, flatten one-third of the dough and fold it over itself. Repeat with the remaining dough. Roll and stretch one-third into a rope about 30cm long. Pick up the ends and make a horseshoe shape. Holding the ends of the rope, cross them over once, then a second time, and fold back onto the bottom of the ‘U’ to make a pretzel shape. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the pretzels to the prepared baking sheet, cover them loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place about 25 degrees Celsius until the dough springs back when touched, about 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Egg glaze

1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
15ml milk

Lightly beat the whole egg, egg yolk and milk in a cup with a fork.

Brush the puffy pretzels with the egg glaze. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 170 degrees Celcius and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Keep an eye on them while they bake, particularly towards the end. If you see they are colouring too much, cover them with foil.

Orange flower syrup

70g sugar
70ml water
30ml orange flower water

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, let cool, and stir in the orange flower water.

Brush the pretzels with the syrup while they are still warm. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet then transfer to a rack and let cool.

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