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Philadelphia Soft Pretzels

1 package dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup tepid water (110 degrees F)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp baking soda
coarse salt

Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup of the water. Combine flours,
add salt; stir in remaining water. When yeast mixture is foamy,
add it to flour and mix thoroughly. Turn out on floured board and
let rest 2-3 minutes while you clean and oil bowl. Knead 10 minutes,
until dough is silky and resilient, adding more flour if necessary.
Return to bowl, cover with a double layer of plastic wrap; let rise
1 hour or until doubled in volume.

Punch down dough. Cut into 8 pieces (or more, for smaller pretzels)
then roll each piece into a thin tube 18-24 inches long. To form
a pretzel, grasp eeach end of the dough, forming a horseshoe with
the curved part away from you. Twist the ends around each other
and press each firmly onto the loop of dough beneath them. Let
pretzels rest 10 minutes under a towel on a lightly floured board.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Simmer a quart of water in a large skillet. Dissolve baking soda.
Poach pretzels two or three at a time, 30 seconds on each side.
Remove pretzels, pat dry, and place on baking sheet lightly dusted
with cornmeal. Sprinkle pretzels with coarse salt.

Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm.


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