One thing about this pretzel that grabbed me is a beer called for in the recipe which I've found from this site ! Even though I'm not an alcoholic ( or am I??) but I have to say it's something I can't live without..
Having been unable to find amber beer (called for in the original recipe), I ,therefore, used English Ale (Boddingtons) instead. But to be honest with you,I couldn't taste it in my pretzels anyway.
Apart from the beer, there are a few things I modified from the original recipe. Firstly, the method of the original recipe used a food processor to prepare the dough which it's not a way I prefer, so I used a dough hook and hands to make and knead the dough instead. Secondly, I didn't put the dough into the fridge to rise as stated in the original recipe, I just left it on the counter in the kitchen. And the last is to reduce amount of salt and sugar...
And here is my version...
For the dough:
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoons light muscovado sugar
1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoons salt
For the simmering liquid:
2 quarts water
1/4 cup amber beer
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup packed light muscovado sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil for glazing
1-2 tablespoons pretzels salt or coarse sea salt
Make the dough:
1. Dissolve the yeast and the sugar in the water and let sit for 5 minutes, or until cloudy. Mix the flour, salt and the muscovado sugar in the bowl, add the buttermilk, oil and the yeast mixture and using a dough hook on medium speed to mix and form a dough about 1-2 minutes. Turn the dough onto slightly floured surface and knead by hands until smooth, about 5-10 minutes.
2. Greased a large bowl with some oil. and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let it rise for about an hour. Lightly oil your work surface and your hands. Remove the dough from the bowl and press to deflate the dough. Divide into 8 balls. One at a time, shape each piece into a pretzel. (Cover the pieces you arent working on with plastic or a damp kitchen towel.) Roll each piece out into a 18-20 inch long rope, slightly tapered at the ends. Shape into a U, then crisscross the ends halfway up, twist them together like a twist-tie, and pull the legs down over the bottom of the U. Place the shaped pretzels on the lined baking sheets. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until not quite doubled.
3. While the pretzels are rising, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Simmer the pretzels: In a 10-inch-wide stainless-steel pot, combine the water, beer, baking soda, and sugar and bring to a simmer. One or two at a time, put the pretzels into the simmering water. Cook for 10 seconds and flip, using a skimmer or slotted spoon. Cook for another 10 seconds, and with the skimmer, lift above the pan to drain. Then transfer to the baking sheets, rounded sides up. Brush with vegetable oil. Dust with pretzel or coarse salt.
4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the pretzels are chestnut brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm.