Monday, 23 November 2009

Don't ...

... bake pizza in a steamy oven, ever. That is all.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Pretzel fail

One of the things I have been meaning to get around to for some time is making some pretzels. Not the crunchy twiglet-type things you get in packets, but proper Bavarian-style, fresh, soft bread pretzels.

You can't buy them at bakeries here so the only thing to do is make my own.

I thought the hard part would be finding a source of food-grade caustic soda (the shaped pretzels are dipped in a weak solution of this before baking, which is what gives them their glossy brown skin).

But as I found out, the really difficult part is shaping them. Making an even sausage of dough is more difficult than it looks.

video

The professionals make it look so easy (thanks to www.brezel-baecker.de for the video)!

I used my normal yeasted bread dough of about 65% hydration. Maybe I should try it with a firmer dough. In fact, I've just found a recipe for pretzel dough with just 50% hydration so I'll try that next.