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Breads

Soft pretzels

Soft pretzels
Los Angeles Times

Baseball managers are remembered for many things. Some are brilliant strategists or superb teachers of the fundamentals. Others are inspirational leaders. I may be the only manager in baseball history who will be remembered mainly for my baking. That's not ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes | Makes 12 pretzels
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon malt powder
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • Coarse salt

Step 1In a large bowl, stir together the water, sugar and yeast, then quickly add the oil, salt, malt powder and most of the flour, mixing until the dough is no longer sticky. (Add more flour, if need be.) Knead until you have a soft dough, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 2Let the dough rest, covered, until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Step 3Divide the dough into 12 portions and let the portions rest a few minutes before rolling each into ropes.

Step 4To form pretzels, form a 15-inch rope, rolling the dough by hand. For each pretzel, form the rope into an upside-down "U." Cross the ends about a third of the way from the rounded part of the U, and fold the ends up at an angle.

Step 5Place the pretzel on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll out and shape the remaining dough.

Step 6Let the pretzels rise until very puffy, 30 to 40 minutes.

Step 7Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 8Brush each pretzel with the egg white, then sprinkle with salt. Bake the pretzels until nicely browned, 12 to 15 minutes.

Note: Malt powder is sold at health food stores.

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