Ingredients

Procedure

  • 12 hours before final mixing, mix the sponge ingredients until a cohesive dough is formed. Move to a covered container and let rise for 12 hours at 75˚F.
  • Also 12 hours in advance, macerate currants in water*, just to cover. Drain well prior to mixing (ideal macerated weight is reflected in the formula).

Final dough

  • Mix flours, salt, yeast, powdered milk, water and raisin juice concentrate in a spiral mixer on low for 3 minutes.
  • Add biga and mix for 3 minutes, on 2nd speed.
  • Add butter and mix for 1 minute, on 2nd speed.
  • Add currants and mix to disperse evenly on low speed.

Shaping and proofing

  • Let dough ferment for two hours in a covered container with a fold after the first hour.
  • Turn out dough after the second hour and divide into 150 g pieces. Flatten dough pieces into rectangles and premold tight 5″ cylinders.
  • Let rest for 20 minutes, roll into tapered strands roughly 24″ long. Grabbing each end, pick up and twist 360°, set the ends down over the ring of dough, pressing them into the opposite side, to make the pretzel.
  • Lay gently on a lightly floured board. Freeze or chill until an hour before use, then pull and bring to room temperature.

Lye Bath

  • Make a 4% lye solution and bring to a boil (use caution as Lye is a corrosive chemical). Breifly submerge each pretzel in the bath, drain well and transfer to a sheet pan, sprinkle with sugar crystals or sesame seeds.

Baking

  • Bake at 380° F on low convection for 8-12 minutes, cool on rack.

* To add character, consider accenting with a dash of whiskey, medeira or barley wine.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

(Calories from Fat %); ( );

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Raisins are excellent food choices for most individuals, including those with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
- James W. Anderson, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Emeritus, University of Kentucky.