Last week Ford was pretty darn sick with a nasty cough and I quarantined him for a few days so he wouldn't spread the germs (that didn't stop him from giving me a million slobbery, open mouth kisses though). One of the days I was getting cabin fever and decided to look through my Pinterest boards and actually make something that wasn't a dinner entree. I've kept a board for different types of breads I want to make sometime in my life (croissants, tortillas, Focaccia) and immediately chose this delicious pretzel bread baguette recipe. I've had pretzel bread sandwiches at a few different delis around here and to say I am hooked is an understatement. I was pumped to find that we had everything I needed in my pantry and I got to work. I won't lie to you folks....I ate half a baguette in 1 afternoon and split the other half with Jon the next day. Topped with butter or Nutella, this bread makes my mouth water! There are a few steps involved so be sure to follow the directions carefully
1.5 cups warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
4.5 cups white, all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
4 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1. If you have a stand mixer, things will be a lot easier. I however do not, so I used a big bowl and my hand mixer.
2. Stir together the water, yeast, and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes until it starts to foam.
3. Add in the flour, salt, and melted butter and use mixer to mix until the dough is formed
4. Place the ball of dough in a greased glass bowl, covered with Saran wrap and let rise for 1 hour
5. Punch down the dough and form into two evenly sized loaves. Place on parchment paper and let rise for 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 425 to prepare.
7. Heat 2 quarts of water in a big pot to a boil and remove from heat
8. Sprinkle in baking soda and stir to mix.
9. Turn heat on low so the water is a slight simmer
10. Now you will "poach" each loaf of bread for 30 seconds per side. It helps to use slotted or wooden spoons. Basically you are letting the dough loaves bath for a minute.
11. Place poached loaves on a greased cookie sheet and brush with beaten egg. Top with salt.
12. Bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven. I baked mine at 26 minutes and it was perfect. You want the top to be brown like a pretzel but not burnt.