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Meet your Bread Baking Challenge with this Pretzel Focaccia

Andrea
Posted by Andrea on Apr 15, 2020

 

 

If you've joined our private Facebook group, you might be cooking even more than your standard three meals a day. After all, what good is a quarantine unless we are challenging ourselves in the kitchen? This week's challenge answers the craving everyone seems to be having right now: baking bread. I got in the spirit by trying out a new focaccia recipe I had seen online at Bon Appetit. 

This recipe was featured in their 92 cooking projects to keep you busy and well fed, so I thought it would be appropriate for a challenge. I can never turn down a pretzel bun so I was intrigued to get that same flavor in the moist but airy crumb of a focaccia. It's actually not that hard to make although you do need to plan ahead as the dough needs to rise overnight in the fridge.  

The recipe calls for pretzel salt which I couldn't find so I adapted it to TCB's Big Flake Salt, though any large flaky sea salt will work just fine. I also adapted the method to use my stand mixer because I have one (and am trying to make use of all of my kitchen equipment) but if you don't, you can easily use a bowl, wooden spoon and arm muscle.

So how do you achieve that pretzel flavor? By brushing the dough with a baking soda and water mixture (be sure to let the kids watch this fizzy combination when you make at home - see video below), the exterior is alkalized which produces a deeply browned crust with the slightly bitter twang of a pretzel. 

 
crumb
 

Pretzel Focaccia

 
Scroll down for printable version of this recipe
 
 
6 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
1 Tablespoon cold unsalted butter, plus 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
2 Tablespoons baking soda
TCB Big Flake Sea Salt (or pretzel salt)
 
water temp

1. Add flour, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with dough hook until well combined. With the mixer on, gradually add 3 1/2 cups warm water (make sure it's 110 degrees) a little at a time until a thick batter forms and all lumps are gone. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 12 hours and up to 2 days. 

 
stand mixer

2. Grease an 18x13" sheet pan generously with 1 Tablespoon cold butter, making sure every corner and side is covered. Drizzle oil onto pan and spread with your hands until every surface is covered.

pan and dough

3. Using a rubber spatula, turn dough out onto sheet pan. Using your hands, gently spread dough in an even layer to edges of pan.

dough in pan

4. Place baking soda in a small bowl and slowly pour 1/2 cup boiling water over, stirring to combine with a pastry brush. Heads up: It’ll get foamy!

5. Generously brush entire surface of dough with baking soda solution; set aside remaining baking soda solution.

brush baking soda

6. Let dough rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, bubbly, and loose-feeling, which can take anywhere between 30 minutes to over 1 hour, depending on the temperature of your kitchen and the season. It took two hours in my kitchen on Easter Sunday.

proofed dough

7. Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 475°. Gently brush dough with reserved baking soda solution (you will not use it all). Bake 10 minutes. Rotate pan from front to back and brush focaccia with 3 Tablespoons melted butter; sprinkle generously with TCB large flake salt. Continue to bake until top is deeply browned (like a pretzel!) and underside looks browned and crispy when pried up with a spatula, about 10 minutes longer.

pretzel foccacia

8. Let cool completely.

To get in on future #tcbcookingclub challenges, join our private Facebook group. We're also serving up meal planning advice and having conversations about cooking with other home cooks. 

Join our Facebook Group
Yield: 1 sheet pan (21 in × 15 in)
Author: Adapted from Bon Appetit
Print
Pretzel Focaccia

Pretzel Focaccia

Ingredients:

  • 6 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 Tablespoon cold unsalted butter, plus 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 Tablespoons baking soda
  • TCB Big Flake Sea Salt (or pretzel salt)

Instructions:

  1. Add flour, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with dough hook until well combined. With the mixer on, gradually add 3 1/2 cups warm water (make sure it's 110 degrees) a little at a time until a thick batter forms and all lumps are gone. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.
  2. Grease an 18x13" sheet pan generously with 1 Tablespoon cold butter, making sure every corner and side is covered. Drizzle oil onto pan and spread with your hands until every surface is covered.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, turn dough out onto sheet pan. Using your hands, gently spread dough in an even layer to edges of pan.
  4. Place baking soda in a small bowl and slowly pour 1/2 cup boiling water over, stirring to combine with a pastry brush. (Heads up: It’ll get foamy!)
  5. Generously brush entire surface of dough with baking soda solution; set aside remaining baking soda solution. Let dough rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, bubbly, and loose-feeling, which can take anywhere between 30 minutes to over 1 hour, depending on the temperature of your kitchen and the season.
  6. Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 475°. Gently brush dough with reserved baking soda solution (you may not use it all). Bake 10 minutes. Rotate pan from front to back and brush focaccia with 3 Tablespoons melted butter; sprinkle generously with TCB large flake salt. Continue to bake until top is deeply browned (like a pretzel!) and underside looks browned and crispy when pried up with a spatula, about 10 minutes longer.
  7. Let cool completely.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Topics: focaccia, pretzel, Recipes, bread, tcbcookingclub

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