The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A Chinese Pizzaiolo’s Attempt at SD Pretzel

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

A Chinese Pizzaiolo’s Attempt at SD Pretzel

For some reason, I’ve been badly craving the cheddar-overspilled pizza rolls sold in a Canadian supermarket. Of course, there is no way I could buy them now, being in HK. Because plain pizza rolls sound a tad boring, the plan was to make pizza-flavored lye pretzels with spinach dough.

 

I felt that the formula was still missing something. Pepperoni appeared too common and I didn’t have it on hand as well. What happens when a pizzeria runs out of pepperoni? Pizzaioli from all over the world have countless solutions to offer: sausages, pulled pork, chicken, seafood, steak, veggies, extra cheese, along with a few thousand more. As for me… May I suggest Chinese sausage? No doubt I ain’t the first to put it on pizza, nor would I be the last. Its sweetness goes surprisingly well with savory cheese and tart tomatoes. With this in mind, I paired cheddar and sun-dried tomatoes with Chinese sausages. Cilantro has to be included next since it is Chinese sausage’s best friend (think Chinese fried glutinous rice生炒糯米飯). Long story short, we now end up with pizza-stuffed pretzels.

 

 

Cheddar, Sun-Dried Tomato, Chinese Sausage & Cilantro SD Pretzel

 

 

Dough flour

Final Dough

Levain

Total Dough

 

g

%

g

%

g

%

g

%

Flour (All Freshly Milled)

200

100

174

100

26

100

204

100

Whole Red Fife Wheat Flour

140

70

 

 

 

 

140

68.63

Sprouted Rye Flour

30

15

 

 

 

 

30

14.71

Sprouted White Wheat Flour

30

15

 

 

 

 

30

14.71

White Whole Wheat Flour (Starter)

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

0.98

Whole Rye Flour (Starter)

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

0.98

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hydration

 

 

 

 

30

100

146.4

71.76

Water

 

 

60

34.48

26

100

90

44.12

Whey

 

 

60

34.48

 

 

60

29.41

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salt

3

1.5

5

2.87

 

 

5

2.45

Starter (100% hydration)

 

 

 

 

8

30.77

 

 

Levain

 

 

60

34.48

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add-ins

75

37.5

75

43.10

 

 

75

36.76

Mature Cheddar

40

20

40

22.99

 

 

40

19.61

Chinese Sausage

15

7.5

15

8.62

 

 

15

7.35

Sun-Dried Tomato (Rehydrated)

20

10

20

11.49

 

 

20

9.80

Cilantro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

434

249.43

60

230.77

434

212.75

Sift out the bran from dough flour, reserve 26 g for the leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients. 

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until ready, about 3 hours (28°C). Roughly combine all dough ingredients. Ferment for a total of 4 hours. Slap and fold the dough until gluten is developed (around 5 minutes) at the 15 minute mark.  

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a long strip with thin ends and a thick centre. Flatten the centre of the dough with a rolling pin and place the filling over the middle. Roll the dough up and pinch the edges together to seal the opening. Shape into pretzels. Put the shaped dough onto a baking sheet with greased parchment and refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F.

Prepare a 4% lye solution (For those who are new to working with lye, please read the safely precautions before you start. Strong alkaline is highly corrosive.) by dissolving 16 g food grade sodium hydroxide in 400 g lukewarm water. Piece by piece, dip the cold pretzels into the lye solution for a few seconds. Drain well before placing them back onto the baking sheet or they might stick to the parchment.

Score the dough at the centre to expose the filling. Bake at 250°C/482°F with steam for 12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let it cool for 20 minutes before serving.

 

 

Red fife wheat and sprouted rye were chosen as they are strong flavors less likely to be masked by the lye and pizza filling. Although this combo sounds strange, its taste and texture is in fact  well-balanced. The cilantro helps to tie up different elements of the bread and is absolutely not optional in my opinion.

______

 

Greek platter (Roasted carrots, eggplant, peppers & potatoes, falafel and olives)

 

Xinjiang lamb & carrot rice

 

Homemade alkaline noodles in an addictive HK-style sweet and spicy pork sauce 京都炸醬麵 

 

Garlicky charred corn & shrimp spaghetti with shrimp oil & white wine

 

Black bean chili enchiladas

 

Cheesy black bean oat patties with millet pilaf

 

Baked spicy pomfret, pan-grilled shrimp and beef skewers, semola flatbread with smoky eggplant dip & roasted carrots, caramelized cabbage wedges with sautéed onions & mushrooms, and bulgar pilaf

 

White bread(s) of the week: 50% durum & kamut SD

 

 

65% hydration T55 baguette

OK-crumb

 

Ahem, awful crust… lol

 

Comments

ifs201's picture
ifs201

All of your food looks amazing! 

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Glad that you like it. I promise I'll keep it coming :) What's life without good food? 

isand66's picture
isand66

Your stuffed pretzels look out of this world.  You have outdone yourself again!

The other loaves look tasty as well with excellent crumb.  

The food is a feast for the eyes as well as stomach as always!

Check out my last post with my cherry sour cream bread as I think you would like it.

happy Baking and cooking!

Ian

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Obviously we share the belief that nothing is banned from going into the dough :) Plain bread can be very good and satisfying but it usually doesn't give much excitement. Why limit ourselves to nuts and dried fruits when it comes to add-ins? 

The taste of lye bread is totally addictive for me that I literally want to soak everything in it! My next plan for lye is homemade seasoned SD hard pretzel pieces. Instead of using tons of oil as the binder of the spices, I'm considering the possibility to rely on foamy egg white... Time for experiment!

Thanks for the compliment, Ian! Achieving an open crumb from white dough is something I struggle less with, when compared with timing the final proof and getting nice scores. It's true that holes have no taste but they often play a critical role in bread texture. They contribute to aesthetic as well so I can't really blame people for going wild for them... 

adelie's picture
adelie

Wow! All of your food looks gorgeous! Is it possible you could post the recipe for the lamb and carrot rice? It looks absolutely delicious.

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

There are only 4 major components in this dish: rice, lamb, carrot and onion, so make sure they're of good quality. I didn't follow a recipe strictly but here's roughly the ingredients and method I used:

 

Xinjiang lamb & carrot pilaf (1 serving)

100 g lamb (I used boneless leg but other cuts like shoulder would work as well. Bone-in is best flavour-wise)

100 g carrot, peel-on and cut into matchsticks (preferably yellow carrot)

80 g rice (medium grain is authentic. Mine was short grain Japanese rice)

½ small onion (around 60 g), thickly sliced

¼ - ½ tsp cumin powder

¼ tsp salt or to taste

A handful of raisins/ dried apricots (optional)

 

Separate the lamb fat from the lean meat. Cut the meat into 1.5 inch cubes and chop the fat into small pieces.

Put the fat into a cold pan. On medium-low heat, slowly render off the fat until crisped. You may choose to discard the crispy bits or leave them in the pan. Bring the heat up to medium-high and sear the lamb in the rendered fat on each side until browned. Remove them to a plate.

On medium heat, sauté the carrot in the same pan until slightly softened, around 2 minutes. Put in the onion, cumin and salt, then stir fry until most water in the pan has evaporated. Mix the lamb back into the pan.

Bring down the heat to low and pour in 120-160 g water (short grain varieties require more water in general). Layer the raw rice on top, making sure it is submerged in water. Put the lid on and bring the water to a boil. Cook on the lowest setting until the rice is done. Scattered the dried fruits over the rice (I like to plump the dried fruits up by steaming them). Put the lid back on and let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

 

I took references from a few Chinese sites (this one for instance). Unsurprisingly, most of them share similar cooking methods. This is a very flexible dish so please feel free to change up the ingredients and proportions. Happy cooking :)

Cedarmountain's picture
Cedarmountain

Elsie, the food is beautiful and looks sooooo good!  It's almost bed time here but after looking at your post I am craving all sorts of things, especially that spiced pomfret with a slice of your durum khorasan SD. And the pretzels...mmmmm!!

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Wow that's new to me! I thought it was already quite creative to coat it with spices and bake it! Pomfert is usually consumed steamed with soy sauce here. Since I don't usually associate Chinese dishes with SD, this combo never occurred to me... But why not? :)

Glad you like the bread and food! Looking forward to your next post!