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Kuro pretzels 130 minutes

I don't really buy bread anymore since i've discovered the joys of home-baking but i still like to go to my neighbourhood bakery to get ideas and inspiration. My latest bread experiment is pretzels.

Pretzels is something i've wanted to try and make for a while now beautifully-shaped breads are my favourite. I originally wanted to try and make another shape but since this was my first ever attempt i figured id go traditional. Though i suppose the shape is the only traditional thing about these pretzels.

You can find black breads in some japanese bakeries though it isnt that common here in Montreal. Sometimes i wonder if people would buy them unfortunately black is synonymous with 'burnt' for a lot of people.

Those who think this way are missing out ;). Black bread is fantastic.

This recipe was adapted from Alton Brown's recipe. Im a newbie baker still learning a lot about it. It's great to have so many resources online to learn from! These pretzels are best eaten on the same day!

-Rekka

Pretzels

water3/4 cupmaple syrup1/2 tbspsea salt1 tspactive dry yeast1 tspall purpose flour2 1/4 cupbamboo charcoal powder1 tspcoconut oil2 tbsp

Boiling water

water5 cupsbaking soda1/3 cup

'egg' wash

soy milk1 tbsp

Topping

fleur de sel1 tsp

    4 pretzels

  • In a bowl, mix the 3/4 cup of warm water, the 1/2 tbsp of maple syrup and the tsp of salt. Sprinkle the tsp of yeast on top and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, stir 1 tsp of black bamboo powder* into 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour. It's important to mix them together in this step because as soon as you add a wet ingredient it's harder to blend the colour in. Once your dough becomes an even 'grey', mix in 2 tbsp of coconut oil.
  • Combine the wet ingredients into your dry ingredients, adding the 'wet' ones gradually while mixing your dough.
  • You can mix the dough using your hands, start by mixing it until everything comes together. After you can take the dough out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured surface, continue to knead the dough using your hands until it becomes smooth. your dough shouldnt stick to your hands but it shouldn't be too dry either. If ever you feel its too dry add a tiny bit of water, sometimes just wetting your hands lightly and kneading it into the dough is enough. If on the contrary your dough is too wet, add a bit of flour. ALWAYS add a little bit at a time
  • Put your ball of dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 50 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 450F
  • Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, add a bit of vegetable oil over it.
  • Put 5 cups of water into a pot along with 1/3 cup of baking soda. Bring to a boil. You will be dipping your dough in this later, this is the step that helps create that beautiful gloss. Take your dough and cut it into 4 equal pieces. Roll out each piece into a long thin rope, the longer it is the bigger your pretzels will be.
  • You can shape it however you want, but if you want a pretzel shape all you need to do is to first shape it into a U. Take the two ends and cross them over each other, then take the 'crossed ends' and bring it to the bottom of your U. Press it down.
  • Using a flat spatula, gently place one pretzel into the pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Only put one piece at a time. After place them onto the baking sheet you prepared earlier.
  • Brush the pretzels with some soy milk and sprinkle with some fleur de sel.
  • Bake for 12 minutes and place on a cooling rack!
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