APA Pretzel Bread

*Please Note* For maximum enjoyment this post should be read in a British accent.
Alright? Alright.
Lovely, let's get going.
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I'm sitting in London at the Heathrow Airport waiting for my flight to Milan.  Instead of sitting around twiddling my thumbs with thoughts akin to "I'm in London, that's cool" running repeatedly through my mind, I decided to actually do something cool. 

Since it's Tuesday, which has turned into my baking blog day, I decided I wanted to blog from London!  Now, what would a person choose to blog about from London?  First things that pop into my mind are pubs, and therefore beer, so I thought...beer bread!  Of course I didn't make this bread in London.  Ironically APA in the title stands for American Pale Ale, I didn't have enough foresight to use a wonderful English brewed beer.  However, you can use any beer you wish, IPA (Indian Pale Ale) is also delicious in this recipe.  Or, like in my case, use whatever beer your dad had on hand.  Which just happened to be American Pale Ale by Short's Brewery, woohoo!  Just stay away from the light beers, those are watery tasting and won't help your bread.  Alrighty, 'ere's the recipe.


APA Pretzel Bread

Ingredients:


    •    1/2 cup warm water (about 105-110 Fahrenheit)
    •    2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
    •    12 oz APA or beer of choice, room temperature, divided into 1 cup and 1/2 cup
    •    4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
    •    1 Tbsp sugar
    •    1 tsp salt
    •    3 Tbsp oil
    •    10 cups water
    •    1/2 cup baking soda
    •    1 egg yolk beaten with 1 Tbsp water
    •    coarse salt or flaked salt, for sprinkling


Directions:


Pour warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl.  Sprinkle yeast over the water and let sit for about 10 minutes, or until it starts to get bubbly and frothy.


In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. 


Once the yeast has acted up, add the flour mixture, then the oil, then 1 cup of the beer.  Mix with the dough attachment for stand mixer or with hands until a soft dough forms.  if it's too soft, add more flour, or if it's too dry/floury, you can steal a bit of beer from the reserved 1/2 cup. 

Give the dough a few kneads and put in a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.  

Preheat Oven to 425 Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. 

In a large pot, combine water, remaining 1/2 cup beer, and baking soda.  Bring to a boil. 

Once bread has doubled in size, punch down and divide in half.  Shape each half into a round loaf.  If you find at this point your dough is still too soft, you can add flour until it will hold something of a shape.  Don't add too much flour, however, the softer the dough the more tender your bread will be. 

Lower a loaf into the boiling water using a large sieve or spatula, boil for 30 seconds and flip in the water once.  Remove and repeat with second loaf. 

Brush the loaves with the egg yolk and water mixture, sprinkle with salt. 

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes then place a piece of tinfoil on top so the bread won't continue to darken.  Bake for an additional 3-8 minutes until a baking thermometer inserted near center reads about 190 Fahrenheit. 

Allow to cool, slice, and enjoy!  It is wonderful toasted.

Thanks for reading, mates!

Adapted from Little Market Kitchen