Rebecca Lindamood, author of Not Your Mama’s Canning Book, is here to teach you how to make fluffy, golden, perfectly-crusted breads with beginner-friendly doughs that ease you into the wonderful world of baking. With recipes that cut down on prep and carefully guide you through proofing, rolling, and rising techniques, you don’t need to be a professional―or even an amateur―to dive in and quickly start wowing everyone with your loaves, rolls, twists, and more!
Learn to perfect classic dough recipes such as one-hour whole wheat bread, buttery soft pretzels, or delicious bagels. Indulge in fun flavours with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pinwheel Rolls, Pretzel-wrapped Little Smoked Sausages, Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread, or Detroit-Style Pizza. With nine easy, foundational dough recipes and 75+ tasty variations to try from there, Ready, Set, Dough! will transform you into a bread-baking master.
Pretzel-Wrapped Little Smoked Sausages
I first tasted a version of this recipe at an Amish pretzel stand at an indoor farmers’ market in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where several young Amish women were making these by the thousands. I did not eat them by the thousands, but in the intervening years, I may have come close. These are a tradition for us during the Super Bowl and other festive occasions. We never have leftovers even when I double this recipe.
Yield: 4 dozen
1 batch risen Buttery Soft Pretzels dough (see below)
2 (14-oz [397-g]) packages cocktail-size smoked sausages
1 egg white whisked together with 1 tbsp (15 ml) cool water until frothy
Coarse pretzel salt
3 tbsp (45 ml) melted butter
Grainy mustard or horseradish sauce, for serving
For the pretzel boil
2 quarts (1.89 L) water
2 tbsp (28 g) baking soda
Line two half-sheet pans with silicone baking mats. Set aside.
Turn the risen dough out onto a clean, unfloured counter. Use a bench knife or dough scraper to cut off a piece of dough about the size of a ping pong ball. Cover the rest of the dough with a clean towel to keep it from drying.
Squash the piece of dough, then roll the piece of dough back and forth, gently moving your hands away from each other. Continue rolling the dough until it forms a long cord with a diameter of about 1⁄2 inch (13 mm).
Hold the end of the dough cord against the end of a cocktail sausage with one hand. Wind the dough around the sausage from end to end. Use a bench knife or spatula to cut off any extra cord.
Pinch the loose ends of the cord into the dough coil. Place, pinched-side down, on the prepared pans. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Let rise, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
To boil and bake the pretzel-wrapped sausages
While the pretzel dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the baking soda to the boiling water. Carefully lower the wrapped sausages into the boiling water with your fingers. Do not overcrowd the pan. Simmer for about 1 minute, flipping over about 30 seconds in if they don’t flip themselves. Use a slotted spoon to lift each piece from the water and return to the sheet pans.
Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with the coarse salt. Bake the trays for 16 minutes each, or until the pretzels are a glossy golden brown. Remove from the oven. Brush the finished pretzels with melted butter and cool for 5 minutes before transferring the pretzel sausages to a serving platter. Serve with grainy mustard or horseradish sauce.
4 cups (1 lb, oz [482 g), by weight) bread flour
1 tbsp (13 g) sugar
1¼ tsp (8 g) kosher salt
2 tsp (8) active dry or instant yeast
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
½ cup (120 ml) hot tap water
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Set the whisk aside and switch to a sturdy wooden spoon. Stir in the milk and tap water until a soft dough forms. Knead the dough hand or by stand mixer fitted with a dough hook for 5 to 8 minutes have a fairly slack, a little tacky and soft, smooth dough. Place the dough clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and set aside to rise in a warm free place until nearly doubled in bulk and pulley, about an hour or so.
Line two half-sheet pans with silicone baking mats. Set them aside.
TO MAKE A TRADITIONAL PRETZEL SHAPE
Use a bench knife to cut the dough into twelve equal pieces. Roll each piece like play-doh until you have a snake of dough about the circumference of your index finger.
Lay the snake of dough in a U-shape. Twist the two ends together twice keeping the base of the “U” open, then fold the twisted ones down onto the base of the “U” and gently press in place
Transfer the pretzels onto the lined baking sheets, being sure to leave generous amounts of room between them. They will expand both as they rise and as they boil and bake. When you have dealt with all the dough, cover the with tea towels and let the pretzels rise in a warm, draft-free place until looking about 20 minutes.
TO MAKE EASIER PRETZEL RODS
Use a bench knife to cut the dough into sixteen equal pieces. Roll each piece like play-doh until you have a snake of dough about the circumference of your index finger. Transfer the pretzels onto the lined baking sheets, being sure to leave generous amounts of room between them. They will expand both as they rise and again as they boil and bake. When you have dealt with all the dough cover the pans with tea towels and let the pretzels rise in a draft-free place until puffy looking about 20 minutes
Recipe reprinted with permission from Page Street Publishing.