We love pretzels here at home. They’re so easy to dunk into soup or coffee. And they’re cute. But just the day I felt like baking pretzels and wolfing them down,I realized,I was going to be fasting for the Chaitra Navratri. So my plans went down the drain. But the balls had been set rolling and sweet child wanted pretzels.
I’d read somewhere about the bread soup bowls… Much like bunny chow, scrape out the inside into a bowl, fill with a curry. Have your bowl and eat it too.
But had never been able to make any. Well , because there’s a sudden walking away from Sourdough at home, I planned on using the Pretzel bread to make bread bowls for soup. So we have Pretzel bread soup bowls . It’s a lightly enriched dough ,so the crumb is tight and won’t let the hot soup leak out. A normal dough will become soggy even before you bring the bread to the table.
This is a basic pretzel dough recipe that I have used many many times over. And it’s from a book,I don’t remember who wrote. But as we have a major space crunch in our Mumbai apartment, most of my cook books are still packed. So I generally refer to my scribbles and old blog posts. So cant give anyone credit. This bread dough is made with a poolish. A high hydration wet mass which already has yeast activated…. Into this wet mass ,dry flour is added to get a dough with a better texture.
A stand mixer is the easiest. Otherwise a regular mixing bowl will also do.
Once you do the basic mix with a spoon or a whisk ,you need to rest the dough. This is the poolish. Despite the fact that it has way less yeast, this poolish now becomes like yeast and will act on the remaining flour. The texture of the dough will be significantly different. Even though there’s barely 25 GM’s of fat,the dough holds as good as a highly enriched dough.
This is an excellent dough for burger buns too, by the way. They keep their round shape and don’t fall flat like a big focaccia. You need to knead well till the dough is smooth and shows an almost window pane like texture. You can’t get the real window pane test here ,as there’s little fat, but the dough is super smooth to work with.
My proofing times are dependent on Mumbai warmth and humidity. You may need to alter your times.
Also find an old battered heavy bottom tin or bowl to place in your oven. When you place this bowl with water…the steam allows for an amazing crust to form. Suddenly your breads will be straight out of Pinterest.
Have you checked out the Netflix series, Nailed it? Oh my God!!! So we have no cable, and we ignore the world and it’s wars. We Netflix and chill. And we watch this stuff that gives up splits for days…. “Nailed It”. That’s just what happens when you don’t respect recipes. We almost fell off the bed laughing when we saw what the wannabe bakers “Nailed it!!!”. So ones learns…😂😂😂😂 And one respects recipes. Like this one….. You know you can’t alter the quantities or substitute stuff. Well ,I know you’ll actually be able to say “Nailed It!!!”
Good luck with the poolish.
This recipe will make 6 bread bowls.
Pretzel Bread Soup Bowls
1 cup hot water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp butter
1/2 tsp sea salt or whole pink salt
1 ⅛ tsp instant dry yeast( I use Prime -easily available at all stores)
3 cups all purpose flour or maida
2 tbsp baking soda for boiling
Place the hot water,butter and sugar in your bowl and allow the butter to melt.
After a minute of stirring, add in the salt ,yeast and half the flour.
Mix with a spatula or whiskwhis you’ll get a wet ,shaggy mess that looks nothing like a dough. Cover and set aside at least half an hour.
After half hour,add in the remaining flour and knead well. You’ll need to stretch and scrape and generally work all your anger and frustration into the dough. I’m not saying you can’t do this if you’re not angry with anyone. It’s just that the force needed to knead a beautiful dough comes only with you focusing some energy on to the dough.
I’m use a stand mixer mostly. But believe me, my arms and middle back lateral muscles we’re super toned when I used to knead by hand. I’m just super lazy these days… And I have back fat. Just saying.
Ok ,now that the dough is smooth and done,tuck the loose ends under and place seam side down in an oiled bowl to rest for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, punch, Degas and remove. Best would be to divide using a weighing scale to get equal balls of dough.
Now on a lightly greased work top, using your fingers as a claw shape the ball to a perfect round. You can also use both hands. Make sure your surface is smooth and free of tears and folds. Place seam side down on parchment paper.
After half hour, set a large sauce pan full of water to boil. Once it comes to a rolling boil, reduce the heat and add the baking soda.
It will fizz up like crazy. Now add two dough balls at a time and allow them to dance about in the hot water for 45-60 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the parchment paper.
Repeat till all are done.
Preheat the oven to 210C and place that tin of water on the base of the oven.
Just before laying the tray in the oven ,slash or score your bread bowls. I made a cross . Just because we’re not doing hot cross buns yet…
Sprinkle sea salt over and pop the tray into the oven for 20-22 minutes.
Let the buns get a dark color..
Bring out and cool on a wire rack.
Now slice off the top ,scoop the centre and use as a bread bowl.
This is what I do.
That’s package soup. Hey, don’t judge me!!!
I made the bread.
Top off, centre scooped out and brushed with a teeny bit of butter, I pour in the soup and top with a little cheese.
Then in a hot toasting oven till the soup is hot and the cheese a little melty.
Eat the soup and then the bowl.
You can do this with a curry too. Awesome isn’t it. The crust is so well formed,the soup won’t leak. Also the bun is super Flavorful. It’s not hard like a sourdough ,but not crumbly and tisssue like commercial bread .
It’s got a spine… That’s what sweet child says about these. And if I don’t slash the buns, he’s happy to stash a burger Patty within too. Or eat them just like they are. The extra sea salt looks pretty and adds a tiny salty bite to the pretzel bun too.
And if you want you can make smaller or larger bread bowls and serve with a curry filled in. Almost like the bunny chow.
How much more can bread do? Endless possibilities.
And these lights? There’s a word in punjabi that sums it up.
Just like that!
Make these buns and do let me know how you liked them . Please share the post and follow me on Facebook and Instagram. You can click on the links in the widgets.
Until next time,