Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Pizza Dough Pretzels or Bavarian Bagels?

When you’re shopping, and get a sudden craving for homemade soft pretzels, there’s not a lot you can do to satisfy that yearning immediately. Sure, you can set some dough when you get home, and wait for it to rise, but by the time that’s done, how do you even know your still going to want pretzels?

Well, the solution to this probably not very common problem is store-bought pizza dough. While I don’t necessarily recommend it for making world-class pizza, if you’re willing to eat something that looks like a bagel, it works very well for making pretzels.

By the way, if you’re wondering exactly, specifically, and precisely what the difference is between bagels and pretzels, I’m not sure I’m the one to ask. I believe the doughs are slightly different, as well as the solution they’re boiled in, but above and beyond that, you should hit the search engines up for more details.

Normally, I would’ve done that before writing the post, but did I mention the pretzels and beer? Like I said in the video, if you do want to make your own pretzel dough, go for it, since the technique will work the same no matter where you’re dough comes from. Regardless of what you use, I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 homemade soft pretzels:
1 pound prepared pizza dough, plus all-purpose flour as needed, divided into six balls
6 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda
coarse salt

- Bake at 400 F. for about 20 minutes, or until beautifully browned, and stretch marks have formed. Exact times will depend the specific size and shape of your pretzel.

- Tip:  if you’re making rings, be sure to stretch them out, so your pretzels are not too thick. You don’t want them any fatter than I made, otherwise they become too bready. Larger, thinner dough rings we’ll give you a chewier pretzel, closer to the ones you get at the mall.


Unknown said...

Do you think it would work to double up on the Oktoberfest theme by using the dough from your beer bread recipe as the dough for these pretzels? Asking for a friend.

Grimtaz said...

Those look amazing! I will definitely try them out, perhaps with a few personal additions!

After having seen you make gravlax (or gravlox as Americans like to call it, no clue why, since lax=salmon in swedish) I would love to know your opinion on another swedish classic called Janssons Frestelse (basically Janssons Temptation). Janssons Temptation is a kind of potato gratin which features anchovies. I really think you'd enjoy it and would love to see your take on it!

Thank you for all your videos, they give me great inspiration.


Erik Larsson from Sweden

JPSHH said...

Hey Chef John

thanks for all your amazing recipes. I m following your Blog since years. I only have one tiny complain (: in Germany nobody is eating mustard on a pretzel, Mustard is for the sausages. Try your Pretzels with god butter that is the way we Germans are doing it. Keep on your fantastic work, I m looking forward to the next recipes.


Michael said...

This looks amazing! Where can we leave our food wishes for you? Can we just post them in the comments? If so, I would loooove to see how you make chicago style deep dish pizza!

Unknown said...

waooo very nice post about Pizza Dough Pretzels.


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JEL said...

I tried these tonight with my homemade pizza dough. They're very good but I prefer lye to baking soda as the pretzels come out crustier.

Unknown said...

Man these look good. As a German I never dared make pretzels (or Brezeln, as they are known over here) because of the lye but never thought of baking soda so thanks for that tweak! By the way, my countryman is right about the mustard but when I saw it I thought "well, at least it's not ketchup"... :-) Apart from butter, in some areas they like to dip their pretzels into cheese spreads so that's another option if you do want to go semi-authentic. But in the end, who cares as long as you like it?

For another and pretty exotic bread-based recipe, may I suggest the Ethiopian injera flatbread - I'd love to know a substitute for the teff flour which is tricky to come by. You could do a double combo with one of their awesome stews and get your week's work done in one cooking event. Now how is that for efficiency?

All the best from Krautland,


Unknown said...

^^^Mmmmm...God butter.

Chef John, they sell little bottles of Lye Water at my local Asian grocery store. Would it be ok to pour a bottle of that into the water instead of the baking soda, or would it be too dangerous?

JEL said...

Food grade lye microbeads are perfectly safe and available online.

I wear disposable plastic gloves to protect against any splashes.

Unknown said...

I tried these and they are pretty darn good. I even had to buy some frozen pizza dough to do the recipe. Next time i make pizza I'll save a bit of my homemade dough to try.
This would be a fun recipe for kids to make. Depending on the age they might need help with the hot water part.
Football season is just the right time for these.

Unknown said...

Hello Chef John,
In the country where Pretzels come from we use the word Betzel for the shape, i.e,, a knot, rather than the peraration of the dough with lye. We have lye rolls, sticks, rings or even croissants and wouldn't call them Bretzel. On the other hand we make Bretzels from sweet yeast dough or flaky pastry. Here is an example of a particularly elaborate New Years Bretzel: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JqJ_q4cLE4A

Unknown said...

I am on a Food Wishes binge this weekend. The chicken ala king was great. Went old-school and served it on toast like Grandma used to do.

The pretzels; I wonder if a saltwater wash would give them a nice, shiny, salty crust. What do you think? They taste amazing. Eating one as I type this.

Unknown said...

I made these with pizza dough i made in my breadmaker, turned out really well!

Might try making sausage shaped ones and injecting mustard or chocolate into the finished product next time :)

Unknown said...

I cannot believe how great these are. I've made them twice...first time as written with store bought dough, second time with homemade pizza dough and made a bit smaller. One of the few things everyone in my picky eater family loves. What a wonderful quick treat...!!

Chris said...

Lye is quite dangerous for a typical home chef. Baking soda is obviously much safer but someone less effective. You can increase the alkali of baking soda for baking it on a piece of foil at 250-300F for 1 hour.