There is something therapeutic about making bread. I am not good at kneading, mind you. But making bread really relaxes me. The science behind how the yeast “wakes up” and creates pockets of air in the bread amazes me. Although, I have to say, when I first added yeast to the lukewarm water, I had goosebumps, but not in a good way. I am quite trypophobic; I hate seeing several holes in one thing. And that’s exactly what it looks like when you pour the yeast on your water and sugar mixture. I don’t look at it while mixing until I am sure that the yeast has dissolved.
The dough on this recipe can be used on different baked goods as well. You can play with the ingredients that you add. You can use milk instead of water. Just make sure that your liquid is lukewarm to activate the yeast.
Scroll down to see the recipe and the how to video.
You will need:
1 ½ cups of lukewarm water
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of dry yeast
3-4 cups of flour
2 tablespoons of oil
250 ml of all-purpose cream
¼ cup of brown sugar
1 egg yolk
3-4 tablespoons of cornstarch
6 tablespoons baking soda
6 cups of water
1 small egg
Make the dough:
- Whisk the lukewarm water, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Whisk until the sugar and the salt are dissolved.
- Add 2 tablespoons of yeast. Whisk and let it rest for 10 minutes. You will know when the yeast is ready when frothy bubbles have formed on the mixture. Plus, you will definitely smell the yeast.
- Once the yeast is ready, add the flour a little at a time and mix until you form a dough. Knead with your hands on a well-floured surface. Add flour if the dough is still too sticky.
- Once the dough does not stick that much anymore, place the dough on an oiled bowl. You can use the mixing bowl you used in mixing the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm area for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, the dough should have doubled in size. Punch the dough lightly to release the excess air.
- Knead the dough again and divide into small balls.
- Fill with your choice of filling. Flatten the small balls of dough and add about a tablespoon of filling. Next, pull up all the edges and pinch them together until you close the filled dough.
- Put the filled dough in a pot of boiling water+ baking soda. Let the filled dough stay in the boiling water for 30 seconds, flipping it over to make sure that all sides have come in contact with the baking soda and boiling water mixture. This is an important step because this will give the dough the chewy texture that pretzels are known for.
- Place on a greased tray with greased parchment paper.
- Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Simple Custard Filling:
- Whisk together all-purpose cream and brown sugar on low heat.
- Add an egg yolk and vanilla and continue whisking.
- Add some cornstarch to thicken the custard. Do not stop whisking until you achieve your desired thickness.
- While the custard is warm, divide it into 2 separate containers. Add your choice of flavoring, like cocoa powder.
- Let the custard cool and cover with plastic wrap, making sure that the plastic wrap touches the surface of the custard so it does not form a skin. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Use this to fill the dough.
The first time I tried making pretzels was a few weeks ago, in the middle of the night, because I was having issues sleeping. I had way too much coffee that day and had way too much energy left. The smell of freshly-baked bread is priceless. I found that making bread relaxes me more than making brownies and cookies. 😊 I just hope I master kneading soon.
I hope you try this recipe and watch the video, plus the other videos I have on my YouTube channel. Please give my recipe vids a thumbs up, and share it with others who are interested in easy recipes. Leave a comment here, or on YouTube. I’d really love to hear from you.
Take it easy. Cheers!