A week of Oktoberfest-style food wouldn’t be complete without a pretzel recipe. This Pretzel Bread is a great way to get the soft pretzel taste without twisting and boiling multiple pretzels. I have made this recipe multiple times now and love it for dips and soups. It is also wonderful as a base for grilled cheese and other sandwiches. I have yet to make the top come out with a perfect “X” after baking, but it still tastes great (note: lately I have just been making a few slashes across the bread instead of making an “X”- I like the look better).
Try to eat this the day it is baked. If you are only going to use one loaf, place the other in a large freezer bag once it is room temperature and freeze for up to a month. Once you are ready to use it, heat in oven for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Adapted from Seeded at the Table
1 1/2 cup warm water (105-115) degrees F
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
22 ounces (~4 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Stir to combine and let sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.
In the bowl of large food processor fitted with a dough blade or a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Mix in the butter and frothy yeast with water. If using the food processor, process until dough comes together.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic. Place in oiled large bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled, 45 minutes to an hour.
Place rack on lower third of oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet with oil.
On a lightly oiled work surface, divide risen dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape each into an oval loaf and cover with towel. Let rise for about 10 minutes until puffy.
In a large pot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil, then add baking soda. Gently place one loaf in boiling water for 30 seconds, turning halfway. Remove with a large slotted spoon to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with other loaf. Brush each with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt. Cut a shallow “X” shape on top of the loaves or 3-4 parallel slashes across the top.
Bake in preheated oven until deep brown and hollow sounding in center, 20-25 minutes. Let cool on wire rack about 15 minutes before slicing.
Best served day of baking.