Submitted by: Craig Ponsford - Ponsford's Place - San Rafael, CA
- Ready Time :
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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