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500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp soft light brown sugar
1 tsp fast-action easy-blend dried yeast
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp mustard powder
75g unsalted butter, softened
125ml lager or IPA
100g smoked applewood cheese, grated
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
25g (about 2 tbsp) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Either 1 tsp caraway, 2 tsp sesame or 2 tsp poppy seeds
1 Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Place the flour into the bowl of a free-standing mixer, add the brown sugar, yeast, salt and spices and combine. Add the softened butter, beer and 125ml warm water and knead using the dough hook for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover loosely with clingfilm and leave in a draught-free place for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
2 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Top with cheese, knead for a few minutes to incorporate then divide the dough into 12 pieces. Shape each into a ball, then roll into a rope about 40cm long and 1cm thick.
3 With each rope of dough, pick up the ends, one in each hand, and create a teardrop shape with the rounded side at the bottom. Twist the open ends together, bring them back to the bottom of the dough circle and press together. Place on the baking sheet, leaving lots of space between each pretzel to allow for rising. Cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave to prove again for 40 minutes until nearly doubled in size.
4 Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Fill a large, wide pan with 2 litres of water. Bring to the boil, add the bicarbonate of soda and reduce to a simmer. Poach the pretzels in batches for about 1 minute, turning halfway, until just firm. Remove with a fish slice and return to the baking sheet. Scatter with Parmigiano Reggiano and either caraway, sesame or poppy seeds. Bake for 10-20 minutes until golden. Serve warm or cold.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in October 2017.