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    1. Sourdough Bavarian-style Pretzels — Laugenbrezel und Laugenstangen [experimental]

      Sourdough Bavarian-style Pretzels — Laugenbrezel und Laugenstangen Makes six. Sourdough Starter | 250g (100% hydration, 125g each flour/water) Water | 100g Bread Flour | 300g Fat | 14g (used bacon...

      Sourdough Bavarian-style Pretzels — Laugenbrezel und Laugenstangen

      Makes six.

      Sourdough Starter | 250g (100% hydration, 125g each flour/water)
      Water | 100g
      Bread Flour | 300g
      Fat | 14g (used bacon fat)
      Salt | 10g
      Honey | 2g (optional)

      Hydration: 52.9%


      Combine throughouly: Starter, Water, Honey, Fat + 90g Flour.
      Add Salt, mix.
      Add remaining flour (210g), and mix until a shaggy mass forms.
      Turn out onto clean surface, knead for approximately 10 minutes.
      Rest dough for 5 minutes, covered.
      Divide dough into six equal pieces (~110g each), form into balls.
      Rest dough for 5 minutes, covered.
      Smoosh dough with your hands to degas, roll out into desired shapes.
      Place shaped dough onto an oiled rack, ferment at room temperature at least 45 minutes, uncovered.
      Chill dough in refridgerator for 60 minutes. After 30 minutes, preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
      Prepare a 4% lye (sodium hydroxide) solution, by weight, using !COLD! water. Whisk until dissolved.
      ⚠️ Lye is highly caustic. Do not get it on your skin. We've all seen Fight Club; wear gloves. ⚠️
      ⚠️ Make sure your lye is pure. Add lye to water, not water to lye. There is an exothermic reaction. ⚠️
      ⚠️ You can use baking soda instead, but the taste, texture, and process are different. ⚠️
      Submerge your shapes into the solution for just a few seconds, place back onto the rack.
      Coat with the coarsest salt you own. Score with a sharp knife, or razor blade.
      Cook for 22-25 minutes, or until deep brown.
      Let cool, but enjoy warm.


      This was a fun experiment I tried with yesterdays sourdough discard. I modified and adapted a few recipes I had found for Bavarian Pretzels to make a sourdough version that was my own. It mostly worked, but since I used discard the yeasts weren't as active as they would have been if I used starter several hours after feeding. I've been baking more often, so I've taken my starter out of the fidge and it's getting daily feedings at room temp.
      I should have probably let these ferment for another 15 minutes at least, to give the yeasts more time to do their thing, and they could have used another couple of minutes in the oven as the very center was everso-slightly oonderbaked.

      I don't imagine the fat matters too much. A lot of the recipes I found used lard, but I keep bacon fat in the fridge and that worked just fine. I can't say it gave these a bacon-y taste. Butter would probably work, but that's around 17% water and wil change your hydration level so keep that in mind. If you're a vegetarian, I imagine vegetable shortening would probably be fine. Maybe a refined coconut oil.

      The honey I used as a (I think 1:7) replacement for Barely Malt Syrup, which I understand is a flavoring element. I didn't feel like going out to find some, so I replaced with honey so my yeasts would have some kind of sugar to munch on, at least. I'm not sure if it did anything, so good news for vegans.

      Pics:
      Look these delicious little guys.

      I'm so good at making pretzel shapes.

      8 votes