Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bacon-Wrapped Soft Pretzel Rods



Bacon-wrapped Pretzels

Bacon-Wrapped Soft Pretzel Rods

Ingredients
Pretzels:
  • 4 cups flour (bread flour, or whole wheat flour, or a combination of the two)
  • 2 Tbsp wheat gluten, (optional but recommended if you’re using WW flour)
  • 2 tsp SAF yeast
  • 1½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 lb bacon (not thick-sliced)
Pretzel Boil:
  • 2 – 3 quarts water
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp sucanat/brown sugar
Instructions
Mixing the Pretzels:
  1. Combine flour, optional gluten, yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Heat water and milk in a small saucepan until lukewarm.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and knead, using either your hands or a mixer with a dough hook, until dough is smooth and somewhat elastic. (This is a rather wet dough, so expect it to be somewhat sticky)
  4. Place dough in a warm spot and cover with a moist tea towel. Let rise until nearly doubled. (About an hour.)
Shaping the Pretzels:
  1. Remove dough from bowl and divide into 1 oz. pieces. Roll pieces into 4 – 5 inch long sticks, then place onto well-greased baking sheets, leaving at least 3″ of space between pieces. Cover with a moist towel and let rise.
Boiling the Pretzels:
  1. Place water in a large pan or Dutch oven and bring to a boil while the pretzels are rising. (I recommend also prepping the bacon at this time – see below for instructions on that.)
  2. Once the water is boiling, add baking soda and sucanat.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (F)
  4. While keeping the water at a gentle but constant boil, drop the pretzel pieces, one or two at a time, into the water for about two minutes, turning pieces over after about a minute.
Adding the Bacon:
  1. Use a sharp knife to cut bacon slices in half, then separate the slices.
  2. Wrap bacon around freshly-boiled pretzels, securing with a toothpick if necessary.
  3. Make a few shallow slashes on the pretzels between the bacon.
  4. As each piece is boiled and wrapped, place it back on the baking sheet.
Baking the Pretzels:
  1. Bake for about 15 minutes until pretzels are a golden brown.
  2. Remove pretzels from baking sheet immediately after taking out of oven and let cool on wire racks.
  3. *Don’t burn yourself on the bacon grease!*
  4. Serve while warm.
Notes
-The pretzels pictured were made with all whole wheat flour (+ vital wheat gluten) -If your baking sheet doesn’t have edges I would recommend putting something underneath it in your oven – you don’t want bacon grease to drip everywhere.
-I’m not going to promise that the the ratio of bacon strips to pretzel rods will be perfect, but it ought to be fairly close. If you do run out of bacon, just bake the last few rods plain and serve them with butter or a condiment of your choice. And if you have extra bacon… well, you can probably figure out on your own how to use it.
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