Thursday, September 20, 2012
Bake authentic German pretzels for Oktoberfest
They're delicious, warm and make a perfect beer sponge.
ADDISON As Uwe Rudnick, the food and beverage director at Addison’s Hotel Intercontinental, picks up a soft, warm pretzel from the basket he has made just hours before, he tears off a pillowy piece and makes an observation.
“These aren’t those same pretzels you find all over the place,” he says with a twinge of a German accent. “These are the real thing – these are what you’ll find in Munich.”
What you’ll find in Munich during the next two weeks is Oktoberfest, a massive annual celebration that involves all five major Bavarian brewers and a cornucopia of classic Bavarian food – amongst which we find the pretzel. If you find yourself unable to travel to Germany, however, Addison’s annual Oktoberfest Celebration, starting Thursday and running through Sunday, makes for a fitting substitute as the second-largest fest in the world behind Munich. Plus, you’ll find these pretzels there, too.
Rudnick’s recipe is simple, hearty, and delicious – the perfect accompaniment for copious amounts of German beer, or even just a Coke. Whatever the beverage accompanying it might be, a soft, warm pretzel always does the trick.
Soft Pretzels (Uwe Rudnick)
YIELD: 6 large, 12 small Servings
Chef Uwe Rudnick's recipe is simple, hearty, and delicious - the perfect accompaniment for copious amounts of German beer, or even just a Coke.
3.5 Cups Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Cup Water lukewarm
2 teaspoons Sea Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Soda Mixed in the Water
1 Tablespoon Dry Active Yeast Dissolved in the Water
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
1 Egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Add baking soda to 1 cup warm water and set aside. Add yeast to 1 cup lukewarm water and let sit for 5 minutes to prove active.
Mix water/yeast/baking soda, brown sugar and salt in a food processor, or a large mixing bowl. Add flour and mix until dough is smooth. Add more flour if sticky. (If possible let the dough sit overnight in a bowl or plastic container in the refrigerator).
Divide the dough into 6 or 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope, very thin, a little bigger than a pencil. Shape into an upside down U shape on you table. Bring the ends together and twist them, leaving a little dough after the twist. Flatten the ends and bring to the top of the pretzel and press in the dough to secure making it look like a pretzel. Place on a greased cookie sheet.
Let the pretzels raised for a 45 minutes or till about double in size. Dip in the water-soda solution. Brush with beaten egg and water solution. Sprinkle with coarse salt, sesame seeds, and/or Parmesan cheese, or cinnamon sugar.
Bake in preheated oven 450 degrees F (225 degrees C) for 12 to 15 minutes or until well browned. Brush with melted butter and eat!
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