Soft pretzels, fall edition. These bread wreaths are flavored with pumpkin puree, maple syrup and spices. All with the soft pretzel crust. They are best when they are hot, right out of the oven. You can make them any shape you wish, I just went with wreaths this time. It’s easier if you make them small, since the dough is quite soft. If you make them too big, you risk the dough falling apart while transferring it to and from the water bath. So keep that in mind. This is not a very sweet pretzel, but you can always brush it with a bit of melted butter after it is baked and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon sugar on top.
This recipe makes 3 medium wreaths.
For the dough:
1 cup of warm water
1 package of dry yeast (7gr)
2 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled
3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
¾ cup of pumpkin puree
1 ½ tablespoons of maple syrup
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon of ginger powder
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
For the water bath:
10 cups of boiling water
2/3 cup of baking soda
For the maple egg wash:
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
To make the pumpkin puree, just chop a small pumpkin into chunks (skin and all). Place it in a microwave-safe plate. Cover it with plastic film and microwave it for 10 minutes until the pumpkin is soft. Then remove the seeds and scoop out the pumpkin flesh. Place the pumpkin flesh in a bowl and mash it. Allow it to cool down.
Place the warm water and the yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients for the dough. Knead the dough with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Do it on low speed for about 5 minutes, until it stops sticking to the edges and it forms a ball. You can also knead it by hand.
Remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with some vegetable oil. Place the dough back in the greased bowl and cover with plastic film. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 230C/450F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment with vegetable oil.
Start making the water bath. Mix the boiling water with the baking soda in a large pot. Make sure it is not completely filled to the top because the baking soda bubbles a bit. Leave the heat on medium, while you work on the dough.
Place the dough in your working area sprinkled with a bit of flour. Divide the dough into 3 pieces.
Grab one piece and roll it into a rope of about 40 cm, then slice it into 2 lengthwise. Twist together the 2 halves and then pinch the ends together to seal them. Finally form a circle with it, tuck the ends underneath and give it a pinch to seal them. Repeat for the other 2 pieces of dough. It’s better not to make them too big. The circumference of each wreath shouldn’t be that much bigger than the circumference of your slotted spoon, otherwise it’s going to be hard to place it and remove it from the water bath. The dough is quite soft and you don’t want it to fall apart.
Place one wreath in the water bath for 30 seconds. Then carefully remove it from the water using a large slotted spoon an place it on the prepared baking tray (once you place it in the parchment paper, you can’t move the wreath anymore until it is baked, so keep that in mind). Repeat for the other wreaths.
Once they are all done, brush them with the maple egg wash.
Bake them for about 10 minutes until golden. Serve warm.
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