Soft Rye Pretzels

This recipe is a combination from several others that I have found.

Dry Works

4 oz white rye flour
13.6 oz white bread flour
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp non-diastatic malt powder

Wet Works

2 tbsp butter (soft or melted)
2/3 cup whole milk (body temp)
2/3 cup water (body temp)

Water Bath

1 oz salt
3 oz baking soda
1 quart (approx) water

Combine the dry works together in a mixing bowl. Using a microwave, warm the milk and water until they are approximately body temperature. Add the warm milk-water mixture and the butter to the dry works. Combine to bring together to form a dough. Adjust with white bread flour or milk as needed.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 8 minutes and then let rest for 5 minutes. Prepare an oiled bowl. After resting, knead for another 2 minutes and form the dough into a ball. Place in oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Ferment for 1 hour until the dough roughly doubles in size.

After fermenting, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide into 12 pieces. Form each into a small ball and let rest for 5 minutes. After resting, roll each into a 3/8" - 1/2" diameter rope approximately 18" long and then form into a pretzel shape. If the dough is still to elastic, let rest for a few minutes and then continue rolling.

Place pretzel shapes on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper for proofing. Loosely cover with cling wrap while proofing. Proof for 20-30 minutes until the dough expands from 3/8" to approx 3/4" diameter. While the dough is proofing, prepare a water bath by placing the water, salt and baking soda in a large stainless steel pot.

NOTE - Do not us an aluminum pot because the baking soda and will react with aluminum.

Bring water to boil and stir to dissolve salt and baking soda. Reduce the temp so the water is just at a light boil. Before you start processing the pretzels in the water bath, preheat oven to 425 degrees.

After the pretzels have proofed, place them one at a time in the water bath; letting one side in the water for 30 seconds and then flipping them with a large sloted spoon. After the other side has cooked for 30 seconds, remove from water and place on baking sheet again. After all pretzels have been processed, place in oven. Bake for 15 minutes and then rotate the pans for even baking. Continue baking for approximately another 15 minutes until the pretzels take on a dark brown color. Let cool 20 minutes before eating.

Makes 12 - 5" pretzels. Can also make 8 Kaiser style rolls.

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