SOURDOUGH PRETZELS - from discarded sourdough starter

SOFT 12 SOURDOUGH PRETZELS (from discarded sourdough starter)

My NOTE: this is a very good recipe and you don't have to have the sourdough starter. You can use one cup of patee fermente or poolish. This brings the texture of the dough, softness and volume.

I keep my starter, in refrigerator. It is a starter that I get it from KING ARTHUR FLOUR when
 I went for a class on sourdough.
Twice a week I take out of refrigerator and I “feed” the starter. I discard a cup of starter and
 I add new flour and water (RT) in equal proportions. I mix well the new “fed” starter and after
 I let it at Room Temp for 1-2 h, and after that, I cover with ceramic wrap and put it back to refrigerator.
I was always sorry that I have to through away one cup of starter. This is a way to “save” this cup of starter, and I was very happy to find this recipe.

3/4 cup lukewarm water 
1 cup unfed sourdough starter, straight from the refrigerator (or use fed starter if you like)
3 cups Sir Lancelot Unbleached Hi-Gluten Flour* or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) malt powder or 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast

1. Mix all the ingredients, with a spoon, hands or a paddle of a stand up mixer.

2. Knead the dough – by hand, mixer, or bread machine – until it’s smooth. The dough is nice and silky, but is a little sticky.
 3. Make a nice round (boule) shape and leave it to rise in a covered, buttered bowl, for 30 minutes. It is not going to raise a lot, and this is how should be.

4. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
5. Take the dough from the bowl and press it down a little, to deflated, and make a square measuring 12/6 inches. Cut the dough in 12 squares (2/3 inches, for example).

6. From each square make long ropes, 18” long.

7. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

My note: The recipe states to oil/melted butter the parchment paper, but I never do. It works fine as it is and I use this parchment paper, many, many times, all over again.

8. Make the shapes of pretzel and arrange them on 2 cookie   sheets, on 2 levels, in oven.

My Note: I put all 12 pretzels on one sheet and they raised so much during baking, that they lost the pretzel shape.

9. Brush them with malt powder or baking soda, dissolved in water. Spread with coarse salt.  
10. Bake for 35 minutes at 350F.

My Note: I will try next time to bake longer, up to 45 minutes to get a crunchy surface and a soft crumb.

11. Remove them from the oven, and brush with melted butter, if desired.

 12. The pretzels are soft and nice brown, a very good taste and pleasant structure.
Bonne appetite!