Home cooks know this situation all too well: midway through preparing a dish, the realization hits that you’re out of a key ingredient essential to completing the recipe. That’s what happened last night when I began making pretzel dough from my new The Pretzel Cookbook, only to discover I’d run out of flour.
“#%&*!” I muttered out loud. The recipe called for 3 1/2 cups of flour; I had 2. The proofing yeast was already underway — having the wrong proportions would screw everything up.
(I suppose I could have driven to the 24-hour A&P in Port Chester, but it was 11 pm, sweatpants and a t-shirt were on, and frankly, I was feeling lazy.)
Luckily after raiding the pantry, I found an almost-full bag of whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour has different properties than white flour, and I didn’t know what would happen when the two were mixed, but I had no choice. Into the bowl it went.
Oh, here’s the recipe:
1 tbsp dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
4 tbsp light brown sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup hot water
1 egg, beaten
1 cup minced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
First, combine the yeast, warm water and 1 tbsp brown sugar. Then add the remaining brown sugar, flour and salt, and knead the dough until smooth.
I could feel difference from the whole wheat flour — it made the dough more dense and less springy than regular flour. Into a bowl to rest overnight.
Then punch the dough down to press out the air, cut it into equal pieces (I chose 8), and roll the pieces into ropes before forming the pretzel shapes.
Cover with plastic wrap and let proof at room temp for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, you want to saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent.
After the 45 minutes, dip the pretzels in the baking soda/hot water mixture, and brush them with egg wash. Sprinkle the onions and garlic over the top.
Into a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes until golden brown.
Here’s how they came out.
The holes had closed up as the dough expanded, but they still kind of resembled pretzels.
I tried one with stone ground mustard.
The whole wheat flour didn’t ruin the batch, thankfully. I don’t think whole wheat flour crisps up quite the same as white, and there’s a texture difference, but the pretzel tasted really good. Fun to make too.
My sis also bought me a beer-making kit for Christmas, so once I get that going, we’re looking at a whole lotta beer and pretzels. Ooh, yeah. It’s gonna be a carb-palooza.