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Soft Pretzel Bread and a video tutorial for shaping the round from foodiewithfamily.com

Pretzel Bread

What's better than a soft pretzel? A bigger soft pretzel... in this case, an entire loaf of soft pretzel bread.
Author Rebecca Lindamood

Ingredients

  • 4 cups bread flour 1 pound 1 ounce, by weight
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup hot tap water

For the pretzel boil:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda

For topping:

  • water in a spray bottle
  • pretzel salt

Instructions

To Make the Dough by Hand:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Set the whisk aside and switch to a sturdy wooden spoon. Stir in the milk and tap water until a soft dough forms. Turn onto a generously floured surface and knead, adding small amounts of flour as needed to keep the dough from adhering to the counter. You do not want a firm dough… it should be fairly slack, a little tacky and soft, yet smooth. Place dough in a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in bulk and puffy, about an hour or so.

To Make the Dough by Stand Mixer:

  1. In the work-bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Mix on low just to combine dry ingredients. With mixer still on low, carefully pour in the milk and water. Continue mixing on low until you have a smooth, soft, slightly tacky dough. Remove bowl from the mixer, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in bulk and puffy, about an hour or so.

To Make the Dough by Bread Machine:

  1. Add the milk, water, flour, sugar, and yeast to the pan of your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the “Dough” or “Dough Only” cycle and hit start. Allow the cycle to complete.

To form, boil, and bake the pretzel bread:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat (a silpat.) or non-stick foil.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface. Lift the dough. Gently pull the edge of the dough down and tuck under. Turn the dough 1/4 turn and repeat. Do this until you've formed a cohesive round. Place the round on the clean surface and use your hands to gently turn and tighten the dough down over the surface. Place on the prepared pan, cover with a clean tea towel, and allow to rise while the oven preheats.
  3. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a stainless steel or other non-reactive pan (enameled cast-iron, tempered glass, etc…) When water boils, add the brown sugar and baking soda. Gently lift the loaf and ease the dough top side down first into the boiling water. Let simmer for about 3 minutes, flip the dough using two spatulas or slotted spoons and simmer for another 2 minutes. Use two spatulas or slotted spoons to lift the dough out of the water quite carefully and transfer back over to the silpat or nonstick foil lined baking sheet.
  4. Spritz the bread with water and sprinkle with coarse salt. Use a sharp knife to slice along the contours of the bread about 1/4-inch thick. Place the pan in oven and bake 35 minutes or until deep brown and at least 185F in the center of the loaf according to an instant read thermometer. If you want a crustier loaf, let the internal temperature rise to 205F.
  5. Transfer the baked bread to a cooling rack and let it cool completely before slicing.