Totally simple prezels

A little squashy prezel just out of the oven

A little squashy prezel just out of the oven click to enlarge

A veritable prezel feast - all shapes and sizes as each member of the family made one...

A veritable prezel feast - all shapes and sizes as each member of the family made one... click to enlarge

Like this recipe?  There are more like it in the book!

Like this recipe? There are more like it in the book! click to enlarge

What I baked today - 24 December 2012

Need something impressive to do between the morning rush on 25 December and the Queen's speech?  It's simple:  bake some bread.  In fact, bake some prezels.  They are fun, simple, impressive, delcious and very much a group activity that even little tiny children can do.  In fact, little children are so used to playing with playdough that they are REALLY good at making prezels...

Ingredients for super simple prezels

250 g white flour (plain or bread)
1.25 g instant/2.5 g dry/5 g fresh yeast
150 g water
5 g salt
10 g butter

Method:

If using instant or fresh yeast, measure everything into a big mixing bowl and get them into a ball in the bowl.  Scrape it out of the bowl and knead it for 10 minutes.  Pop it back in the bowl, cover the bowl with cling flim and let it rise for 2 hours.

If using dry yeast, measure the flour into a bowl and make a well in the flour.  Measure in the yeast and pour over the water.  Let it sit for 15 minutes.  A beige sludge may or may not form on the top.  Don't worry - the yeast just needs to dissolve.  Add the rest of the ingredients and get them into a ball in the bowl.  Scrape it out of the bowl and knead it for 10 minutes.  Pop it back in the bowl, cover the bowl with cling flim and let it rise for 2 hours.

Once the dough has rested, turn it out of the bowl and divide it into pieces.  4 pieces for 4 gigantic, squashy prezels.  8 pieces for 8 small, squashy prezels.  16 for little crispy prezels.  Let the pieces rest for 5 minutes and then shape them into tight balls.  Let these tight balls rest, under a damp tea towel, for 15 minutes and then roll them out into long snakes (this is where the children's play-dough skills come in).  Then tie the long snakes into a simple knot or form them into a prezel shape.  Lay these on a tray and cover them with a damp towel.  Let them rest for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.  Measure 1 litre of water into a big saucepan and add 1.5 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda.  Bring the water to a simmer and then lower the prezels into the water.  Do as many as can comfortably fit into the pot (depends how big they are) and let them simmer there for 30 seconds.  Remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on a baking tray that you have lined with non stick parchment paper.  Sprinkle them with rock salt (go easy on the salt).

Pop them in the oven for 10-20 minutes depending on how big they are.  Small and thin - 10 minutes, big and squashy - 20 minutes.

Gasp with delight when they come out all golden brown and - wait for it - THE COLOUR OF A PREZEL!!!!!!!  Do try to let them cool down before you eat them.

This recipes comes from The Book of Buns where you can find more amazing bun recipes from around the world.  It is available to buy on Amazon.