Nothing says I love you like a savory, pink (all natural), heart shaped pretzel. Well te iubesc Cosmin but you're not having any, they're all mine. Beetroot haters need not fear, you can taste only pretzel, delicious chewy salty pretzel.
I've sprinkled my pretzels with onion seeds which give them an oniony flavour oddly enough. To be quite frank you can sprinkle them with whatever you like, rock salt, poppy seeds, thyme, black seasame seeds or nigella seeds. I juice my own beetroots for these, but you can buy beetroot juice and use that instead or boil and mash some beets and strain through a fine sieve or muslin.
These, like most of my recipes, aren't as hard as they look to make. There are a lot of stages involved but the effort is well worth it believe me.
- 175ml milk
- 115ml beetroot juice (roughly 130g raw beetroot passed through a juicer)
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 15g fast action dried yeast
- 40g unsalted butter
- 200g bicarbonate of soda (baking powder)
- 460g strong white bread flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp polenta/cornmeal
- 2 tbsp onion seeds (optional)
- About a tsp of beetroot juice (you should have some left over from making the pretzels
- 2 tbsp melted butter
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER PORTION
- Calories | 227
- Fat | 4.9
Makes | 10
Prep Time | 2 hours 30 minutes (includes rising time)
Cooking Time | 1 hour 15 minutes
- Preheat your oven to 140°c (appx 285°f)
- Warm the milk and beetroot juice in a saucepan or microwave until it is lukewarm. Be very careful not to overheat it as it will kill the yeast.
- Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the sugar and yeast, cover and leave to rise in a warm draft-free place for ten minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
- Meanwhile melt the butter and allow it to cool to luke warm temperature
- Line a baking tray with tin foil and spread over the bicarbonate of soda, bake for one hour.
- Sieve the flour and salt together into a large bowl and make a well in the centre, pour in the yeast mixture and the cooled melted butter. With a fork whisk from the inside out, gradually incorporating the dry into the wet.
- Once a dough begins to form, turn out onto a work surface and knead for approximately ten minutes until you have a smooth glossy dough. It is a very sticky dough so add more flour if absolutely necessary but be wary, the more you add the heavier your pretzels will be. A sticky dough will almost always eventually come together without excess flour if you have the patience.
- Cover and leave to rise for about one hour in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size.
- Pour 1 litre of water in a large bowl and sprinkle in the baked bicarbonate of soda, stir until dissolved.
- Divide your dough into ten pieces and roll each into a length of about 40cm. For each length loosely join the ends by twisting together, turn into the centre of the newly formed ring then gently pinch, prod and push your dough into a heart shape. Cover and leave to rise in a warm draft-free place for a further 30 minutes to rise.
- Preheat your oven to 200°c, placing a baking tin filled with water at the bottom of your oven to create steam.
- Uncover and leave to sit in a draughty place for ten minutes to allow a skin to form.
- Each pretzel should then be steeped in the soda water for three minutes then dipped in a separate bowl of cold water to clean off the excess soda. It is easiest to do this one-by-one.
- Sprinkle baking trays (you'll need two or three) with the polenta/cornmeal and lay out the pretzels, allowing them enough room to rise in the oven.
- Sprinkle over the onion seeds if you're using them.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until browned.
- Mix together the melted butter and beetroot juice and paint the tops of your pretzels, this will help bring out the beetroot pink colour which will have dulled a little from being in the oven.
- Cool on a wire cooling rack, or do as we did and scoff them straight away.