In an effort to 1) clean out my stack of “yet to try” recipes and 2) come up with something different to take to a New Year’s Party I decided to finally make these.
Unfortunately, they didn’t quite turn out. Well, once again the presentation isn’t there although the taste isn’t too bad. Mine do not look like the picture in the recipe I used. mine are much lighter and three of the six kind of fell apart.
Having never made these before, I can admit that I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing and while I followed the directions on the recipe, I feel a little like something was missing. Or there were some steps to be clarified. I don’t know. The first problem I ran into was the actual making of the dough. I did it by hand and, while I,mature that’s how they did it “way back”, using a mixer probably would have been better. I did try to run the mixer around isn’t he bowl after I had mixed some of it up but it wasn’t working and kind of a bad idea.
The dough was still super sticky and I probably added another 1/2 cup of flour just to get it to a slightly less sticky state in order to get it out of the bowl. Then, I probably added at least another 1/2 cup of flour while kneading it to make it less sticky and to the consistency I felt the recipe was going for. That still didn’t quite work as when I cut the dough into pieces, I still had a super sticky inside which made it stick to, well, everything.
Rolling the dough also proved a little difficult as well (it was sticky) so I had to add some more flour to be able to roll it. And even then, I had to just roll it between my hands. Rolling it on the counter was not going to work.
I felt like the first three I did were okay but the last three were kind of big. Maybe there was a little more dough than the first three or maybe I just rolled it out too much. Either way, the last three were bigger and were a little hard to keep together. I tried my best, on all of them, to pinch it together as I was worried about them coming apart when I stuck them in the water.
It was a real fear. The first three did okay but the last three kind of fell apart. Again, partly due to the size I think and that I didn’t get them pinched together all that well. I think, you could maybe get more than six pretzels depending on how you roll out the dough. I should have probably made more that were smaller. But anyway. Again, the first three seemed to turn out okay in the water but the last three didn’t. I don’t know if it was that the water was boiling more for the last three or what nippy those came out looking more yellow than the first three.
And then there was the baking. The last three, all misshapen and what not, browned up faster than the first three but even then, I had to leave them in the oven for at least twice as long as the recipe called for. And, since they were sticking to the pan, I found it difficult to take off the three that were browning faster and leave the others on the pan. So, the three that had gone into the water first, aren’t quite as browned as the others. BUT, those were starting to puff and split like the picture in the original recipe.
So, how to fix all this? I don’t exactly. I think I need to use a mixer when making the dough for starters. I think when rolling the dough out I need to make more of them that are smaller (or make sure the dough it all equal). For the water bath part, maybe I need to make sure it is really boiling before starting to ensure that they all get the same treatment. I think that as I went along it boiled more (from a gentle boil to a rolling boil). I also was talking to a friend about these and he said when he has done it he has stuck them in the freezer before putting them in the water. He said that helps them keep their shape.
For baking, I may just put some parchment paper down to help with the sticking. Never mind that the baking soda water bath resulted in a discoloration of my pan. I think the parchment paper would help some of that.
But, in the end, they did taste like a pretzel even if it didn’t quite look like a pretzel. Worth another shot to see if I can get it “right”.