The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Soft Pretzels?

Sparksfly's picture
Sparksfly

Soft Pretzels?

Sorry if this is the wrong sub forum to be posting in, I wasn’t sure which one this fit into.

 

Been into making them recently and wanted to make them for a super bowl party on Sunday. Problem is I don’t think I can make the dough the day of. 

 

Is is there a way I could pre-make them without ruining them? I was thinking of making them, doing the baking soda bath and then cooking them the day of.

My worry is the yeast won’t do it’s job the next day. 

FueledByCoffee's picture
FueledByCoffee

You would want to make the dough, shape them, let them proof up just a little bit and then cover them with cling wrap and put them in the fridge.  The next day you would do the baking soda bath and baking.  Cool trick if you don't have the lye is to bake your baking soda at 250 degrees for about an hour.  This will cause the baking soda to become more alkali and does a much better job of replicating the effect of a real lye bath.

Best of luck!

 

Sparksfly's picture
Sparksfly

Thanks! Is there a difference between lye and baking soda?

I’ve only ever followed this recipe: https://www.foxandbriar.com/soft-beer-pretzels-with-beer-cheese-dip/

Which calls for a baking soda bath. They’ve always come out perfect. 

David R's picture
David R

...and more effective than baking soda, for pretzel purposes. It also requires much more careful handling, because it's highly corrosive (lye for pretzels is the food-grade equivalent of drain cleaner crystals). So no improvising with lye - follow the instructions carefully, and ask questions if there's any doubt about how to proceed.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Lye will eat aluminum for breakfast. Use stainless steel utensils or enamel ware in good condition; no cracked or chipped areas.

David R's picture
David R

Yes, lye + aluminum = bad news, for sure.

David R's picture
David R

...lye into your recipe.

 

Find a clear and specific example (in some good bagel recipe somewhere) that shows exactly how to do the lye.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Hamelman, in Bread, calls for a 3% solution. That's 30g of lye dissolved in each liter of water. Dip for 5 seconds. I make a weaker solution, 1.5%, and dip for a bit longer. Watch (through safety glasses) and pull out when the dough's color turns a light amber.

For bagels, I use a 0.5% solution because 1: The water is boiling, which speeds up the reaction; 2: The time period is longer due to the boil needing to affect the dough itself; and 3: A stronger solution causes the bagels to taste like pretzels instead of bagels.

YMMV, but Hamelman is an authoritative source.

gary

David R's picture
David R

Bagel... Pretzel... Sorry, I forgot the actual topic. Use the appropriate type of recipe. You know. 🙂