Author Topic: Soft Beer Pretzel  (Read 6849 times)

Offline thirsty

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2010, 01:30:22 PM »
Ok, this I will have to try. Thanks for the lye links.

Offline Jeff Renner

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2010, 06:34:00 AM »
Dipping the high protein dough (the milk powder adds extra protein) causes a change in the protein and sugar structures at the surface and starts cooking them. That allows for the development of that extra chewy super brown crust.

You can do the same thing with say baking soda, but it's not as effective.

The lye also produces the distinctive pretzel flavor.  It can be done with baking soda, as you say, and it works pretty well if you use lots of it.  Like maybe 1/2 cup in a quart.  Maybe even more.  This also makes a safe, fun project with kids.

Glad to see enthusiasm for this old recipe, which came to me second hand from an old German baker here in Ann Arbor more than 30 years ago.  I got it from another baker who started his business making these pretzels for Michigan football games.  He would make many dozens and put them on a long dowel and sell them for a dollar to the crowds (>100,000) going into the Big House on Saturday afternoons.

I used to make dozens of these for our elementary school ice cream socials back in the 80's.  I would get three or four parent volunteers to help in my little wholesale bakery in my attached garage, and kids on bikes would relay them to the school three blocks away.  I think we made 18 dozen one year.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2010, 09:16:53 AM »
Glad to see enthusiasm for this old recipe...

Jeff, the enthusiasm is there because it is a truly awesome pretzel and you're awesome for sharing it and not hoarding it.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2010, 09:28:57 AM »
Glad to see enthusiasm for this old recipe...

Jeff, the enthusiasm is there because it is a truly awesome pretzel and you're awesome for sharing it and not hoarding it.

I'll second that notion and I am definitely going to give this one a try soon.

Thanks!
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2010, 09:34:57 AM »
Salt Sampler,  send me some info on that.  My wife is an addict (of salt)
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Offline denny

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2010, 03:00:42 PM »
Salt Sampler,  send me some info on that.  My wife is an addict (of salt)


It was a gift from a friend who got it in either PDX or Seattle.  I'll see if I can find out where and let ya know.  It's got Sel Gris (not too hard to find), Cyprus Flake (my fave), oak and alder smoked sea salt, Himalayan pink, and Alaea red Hawaiian
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2010, 03:33:17 PM »
Speaking of specialty salt, my brother did a bourbon tour of Kentucky a few months ago and bought me some bourbon smoked sea salt and bourbon smoked pepper.  I've been waiting for the right dry-aged ribeye to come along to do-si-do with the smoked seasonings...mmmmm.   8)
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Offline riverrat

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2012, 11:13:41 AM »
Back from the dead!

I made these last year with the baking soda/water substitute for lye.  If using this:
http://www.essentialdepot.com/servlet/the-2/2-lbs-Food-Grade/Detail

Is the measurement the same on the quantity of lye to use from the recipe (1 Tablespoon lye crystal/ quart of water)? 

Looking to make these in 2 weeks (Mpls locals can probably figure out why).

Also, if one were to want a cheese stuffed pretzel, how would one go about doing this?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 11:21:30 AM by riverrat »
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2012, 12:13:59 PM »
Another good recipe that use often is from Alton Brown. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/homemade-soft-pretzels-recipe/index.html

You can get lye at most Ace Hardware stores and farm stores that stock supplies for home canning too.

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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2012, 05:15:00 PM »
Lye is the secret weapon for me.  It really provides the outer texture and taste that a soft pretzel should have, IMO.

At my third annual Oktoberfest party this year, we're rolling out a whole new animal...pretzel buns for our brats!!

Here a pic of the prototype.  It's a brat with German horseradish mustard and an onion and apple chutney sauteed in lots of butter.  Holy balls if this didn't taste like manna from heaven!
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Offline riverrat

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2012, 12:59:45 PM »
So no info on how to stuff a pretzel or if the lye crystals measure out the same as the lye in Jeff Renner's recipe?  Some one has to have some ideas!
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2012, 01:25:29 PM »
So no info on how to stuff a pretzel or if the lye crystals measure out the same as the lye in Jeff Renner's recipe?  Some one has to have some ideas!

I found this on Food Network.  I can't speak to how well it works for making a stuffed pretzel.  http://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/how-to-make-stuffed-pretzels/pictures/index.html

I haven't used lye so I can't answer that one.

Paul
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Offline punatic

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2012, 01:46:26 PM »
Jeff Renner has a classic pretzel recipe that he's posted through the years.  Jeff is a pro baker, so you KNOW it's gonna be good!

I was inspired to make pretzels when Jeff's article appeared in Zymurgy all those years ago.  I've been making them ever since.  They are awesome!  Very simular to the ones in Bavaria.

There's only one problem - no matter how many I make, it is never enough.  They disappear very quickly.

FWIW I use the same lye for pretzel-making as I do for soapmaking.


The red Hawaiian salt is the new hot, trendy salt.  I got some in a salt sampler for my birthday last year.  It _is_ a really good salt, though.

Hot?  yes.  New and trendy?  Not so much.  It's been a staple here for hundreds of years.  I collect my own from high tidepools on the Puna Coast.  A bit of work, but fun to do, and the salt is very tasty.  It's amazing the wonderful foods that one can find here in Hawaii, just there for the taking (legally).
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Offline theoman

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2012, 07:22:00 AM »
Now that I have a house with an oven and stuff, I'm excited to give these a try.

I do have one question: How much yeast is in "two packets?"

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Soft Beer Pretzel
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2012, 08:27:12 AM »
You know.. I had to go look that up since everyone just says "packets" :)

According to Cook's Thesaurus, a packet of Active dried yeast  is 2 1/4 teaspoons or 1/4 ounce.
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