Sunday Morning Baking

IMG_2794A couple of weeks ago I came across these Pretzel Bagel Doughnuts made by Jeremy & Adrian, The Food Gays, whilst scouring Instagram. I immediately salivated and have been looking forward to getting in the kitchen and making these ever since laying first sight. That opportunity finally presented itself with a free Sunday morning this past week. It was a much needed time to calm myself and reconnect with my kitchen after an enjoyable busy Christmas.

I have made successful pretzel balls in the past, and one semi-successful attempt at bagels, but these combo-stuffed-delights are a new favorite among my husband and friends. Recipe is adapted from The Food Gays.

For the dough

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp sugar

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/3 cup warm water

Olive oil, to coat dough

pinch of salt

1/2 white onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced or microplaned.

1 tbsp butter

Seeds of your choice – Poppy, Sesame, Fennel, flax, etc.

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Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Give the dry ingredients a little mix together.

Turn mixer on medium-low speed and slowly drizzle in the warm water and run the mixer for a good 6-8 minutes. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl if the flour doesn’t seem to be incorporating fully after a couple minutes (I had to do this).

While the dough is self-kneading, finely dice up 1/2 of a white onion and sauté in a pan drizzled with a touch of olive oil on medium-low heat. When the onions look nice and translucent, add the garlic, butter and a pinch of salt. Sauté for another minute or so and then spread on a plate and place in the fridge or freezer to cool quickly.

Give your dough a look, it should be forming somewhat of a ball and slightly tacky and stretchy to the touch/pull.

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Add your cooled onions and garlic to the mixer and continue to blend on medium-low for another 4 minutes. Note: I found that I had to add another 1/4 cup of flour or so, perhaps the moisture from the onions wet the dough down a bit. Regardless, you want the dough to form a ball and pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl at the end of the 4 minutes. If your dough feels too sticky, incorporate one tablespoon of flour at a time until it seems smooth and pulls away cleanly from your fingers when pinched.

IMG_2781Grease a metal bowl with olive oil and transfer the dough to it, turning to coat. Cover with saran wrap to hold in the moisture and place in a warm place to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size. While the dough rises, work on the solution.

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The Solution

1 cup of baked baking soda* (bake while dough is rising)

3 cups water, preferably filtered

*While The Food Gays call for food grade lye to give your Pretzel Bagel Doughnuts that distinctively pretzely outside, I lacked the patience and courage to order and use lye (all I could think of was that hand kiss burning scene from Fight Club). But mostly I lacked the patience to order food grade lye, someday I will try the authentic pretzel way. Anyways, after a quick google research session, I came across an article by Cambria Bold on The Kitchn directing you to bake your baking soda for one hour on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet in a 300 degree oven, rendering it a much more alkaline substance and a good lye alternative. I did this while the dough was rising.

Prepare your solution by whisking your baking soda in a bowl with the water until combined. Prepare an additional bowl with just filtered water for rinsing the solution off after soaking. Set aside until ready to use.

Forming the Doughnuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Squeeze dough down to let out excess air and gas, if you have a kitchen scale, take weight of your dough and divide that weight by 12. Pull off equal sized pieces, checking the weight on your scale, form into a ball, place on a lightly greased parchment lined baking sheet and slightly flatten down with your hand (I ended up with 11, the 12th one went to my husband, the dough lover). Leave these to rest for another 10-15 minutes, proofing, before dipping in the solution.

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Using a slotted spoon, submerge a couple dough balls into the baking soda solution for 2 minutes. Remove and dunk in the plain water bowl to rinse. Place on a fresh parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with remainder of the proofed balls. Sprinkle with seeds of your liking, I used poppy and sesame, and let stand 5 minutes before baking.

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Bake for 18 minutes, until beautifully dark golden and smelling delectable.

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Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before filling.

The Filling

8 oz. brick cream cheese, room temperature

Salt

Pepper

Fresh Herbs of your choice, I used chives only

Combine the cream cheese, salt, pepper and herbs to your liking in a bowl. Use a hand mixer to combine and blend until the cream cheese is a bit light and whipped looking. Scoop into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.

Once the Pretzel Bagel Doughnuts have cooled, cut a small “X” into the top. Insert pastry bag tip and squeeze a generous amount of cream cheese into each one. Garnish with a sprinkling of chives.

Best eaten warm, but still quite good the next day reheated in the microwave for 20 seconds. Store leftovers, if any, in the fridge.

The next time I make these, I may use an egg wash before applying the seeds to help achieve a darker, glossier crust. Hope you can’t resist trying these too!

Does the new year have you trying anything new, in or out, of the kitchen?

 

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