Irish Pretzel Knots
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 can (12 ounces) beer(or 1½ cups water)
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar, divided
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3½ cups bread flour
  • 9 cups water
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1 egg whisked well with 1 teaspoon water (egg wash)
  • Coarse salt
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Heat beer until very warm - about 110 degrees.
  4. In a large bowl (preferably using a stand mixer), combine warm beer, 1 teaspoon of the brown sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 6-8 minutes, or until bubbly.
  5. Add remaining sugar, butter, salt, and 3 cups of the bread flour. Mix well.
  6. Slowly add remaining flour. Dough should come cleanly away from the side of the bowl, and will feel slightly tacky. If it's STICKY, add a little more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Knead well - at least 5 minutes if you're using a mixer with a dough hook, or 8 minutes by hand. This will make the dough elastic.
  7. Work with small amounts of the dough at a time, using your hands to roll out thin ropes - about 18 inches long, if possible. Avoid rolling on a floured surface; you need friction! Try slightly spritzing your work surface with water or lightly buttering your hands before rolling.
  8. Create shapes with the ropes of dough. Use the blog photos to form Irish knots, or make your own creations. Set shapes aside until you have enough for one baking sheet.
  9. Bring water and soda to a boil in a large pot. Drop pretzels into water, a few at a time, for 30-40 seconds. Lift with a slotted spoon or spider, and set on prepared pan. Brush lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 30 minutes, or until very dark brown. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
  10. To achieve crunchier pretzels, return to oven set at 250 F for up to 1 hour. Test after ½ hour. If the pretzels are close to being dry, turn off oven and let them sit until cooled.
Recipe by The Rowdy Baker at http://www.therowdybaker.com/?p=3467