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West Hill House

Warren, Vermont, Vermont

Specialty Recipe

Soft Pretzels West Hill

Ingredients
The Dough:
2 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup dried onion
1 Tablespoon dried dill weed
5 cups flour
The Glaze:
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons water
coarse Kosher or Sea salt
Equipment:
2 or 3 wire cooling racks

Soften yeast in warm water; add salt and remaining dry ingredients. As flour is added, mix until dough is too stiff for mixer, then knead in remaining flour by hand. If using heavy-duty mixer, change from batter blade to dough hook as dough develops. Continue to knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Allow to rise in a warm place in an oiled bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap until double in bulk - about 1 hour. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

When dough has risen, fill a large frying pan with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Gently deflate dough. Cut into equal parts the size of a golf ball. Keep dough that's not being worked under plastic wrap so it does not dry out. With your hands, roll pieces of dough on unfloured surface, to make long "snakes" (about 16 inches and about as thick as your middle finger). Twist pretzels by creating a large loop with about 3-inch long tails, with loop circle at top and tails pointing down (at about 5 and 7 o'clock if you visualize a clock face.) Pick up the tails, twist them once around each other and flip them up halfway over the loop and press them gently into the top of the loop at about 10 and 2 o'clock.

For the dough's second rise, simmer the pretzels, as many as will fit in the frying pan at a time without touching one another, for 2 minutes a side. Turn them gently with a slotted spoon. Remove to a wire rack and brush with the glaze. Sprinkle with coarse salt to taste. Bake right on wire rack for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with honey mustard on the side.

Makes: about 24 pretzels.

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