Pretzels Party in the CVap Kitchen

Mmmm...pretzels

During a baking day in our CVap® Kitchen, we decided to add a little twist. We were working with Rich’s Petite French Bread dough. Just for S&Gs, we set a couple of loaves aside to experiment. Primarily, our goal was to make soft pretzels. After slacking on the counter for about an hour, we began playing with the dough.

Rolling into Ropes

First, we formed the dough into ropes, about two feet long (just eyeball it). Just wing it on the shape – it’s okay if they’re ugly.

Proofing pretzel bread

A Boiling Pretzels Bath

Once we got them into the shapes we liked, we plopped them into a boiling water bath (nine cups water, half a cup of baking soda). Consequently, the baking soda increases the pH, which gives the pretzels that really nice deep dark brown pretzel color that we’re used to seeing. Critically, pretzels must boil in that soda bath to obtain the right amount of chewiness and bite.

Although you don’t have to do the water bath, the results won’t be the same without it. Make whatever shapes you want – bites, sticks, traditional crossed, etc. Keep in mind that the smaller the pretzel, the less the time it should spend in the soda bath.

For these, we shot for 20 to 30 seconds, flipping midway. Next we placed the boiled pretzels on a parchment-lined pan (sprayed with a little pan release). Finally, they were brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with coarse kosher salt or pretzel salt. You want a nice coarse salt.

Baking Up Bavarian

We baked the pretzels in two different CVap ovens. The first was an RTV7-05 Retherm Oven set at 200°F Vapor Temp, 350°F Air Temp. In contrast, the other pan went into a CHV7-05 Cook and Hold Oven set at same vapor and air settings. They baked for about 15 minutes in the RTV, 20 minutes in the CHV.

Indeed, the pretzels in the RTV oven came out crusty and soft, at an internal temp of 205°F. Likewise, the CHV pretzels came out beautifully, at an internal temperature of 200°F. Subsequently, after cooling a bit, we peeled them off the parchment paper, and placed them on a cooling rack.

Finally, we ate the hot pretzels with a little mustard. So good! It made us wish we could drink cold beer at work. That would have paired perfectly with these perfect pretzels.

Pretzels in the oven

Recipe Recap

Allow dough to slack in refrigerator overnight. Roll loaves into approximately 2′ ropes, then twist over into pretzel shapes.

Place pretzels into boiling bath of water and baking soda. Allow to boil about 30 seconds, flipping half-way through.

Next, place boiled pretzels on baking sheet lined with parchment paper (and a spritz of pan release). Brush with melted butter and place in CVap oven.

Program CVap RTV Oven or CVap CHV Oven as follows:

  • 200°F Vapor Cook Temp
  • 350°F Air Cook Temp
  • RTV cook time: 15 minutes
  • CHV cook time: 20 minutes
  • Convection: On
  • High Yield: Off
  • Hold Time: Infinite

Preheat the oven. Allow 45 minutes to preheat.

Check doneness around 15 minute mark. Remove when satisfactorily brown.

Pork Loin-Pretzel Bun Sliders

Petzel bun baked in a CVap retherm oven

Each component of this sandwich is delicious on its own.  We started with the pretzel buns, which provide the perfect framework for the other flavors. Pretzel dough adds something special to a sandwich, elevating our enjoyment of it. Is it the distinctive chew unique to pretzel dough? Is it the slightly crunchy exterior of the roll? Whatever the attraction is, you can’t deny that pretzel rolls add something very different to any sandwich. These sandwiches have been appearing on menus everywhere.

Mini Pretzel Buns in CVap®

We’ve been experimenting with sandwiches of all sorts. In this case, we experimented with creating a slider-sized version of a pretzel roll using a CVap oven. CVap technology is excellent at proofing and baking varieties of bread, buns, and rolls.

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Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Envelope Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour

Boiling Solution

  • 3 Quarts Water
  • 3/4 Cup Baking Soda

Egg Wash

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tsp Water
pretzel dough for sliders

Directions

Directions

Heat milk and butter to 105°F. The butter will not completely melt. Combine with yeast and brown sugar in a mixer bowl. Stir in salt and 2 cups flour and beat for 3 minutes. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Mix on low for approximately 5-8 minutes to develop elasticity. Place in an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl. It will take approximately one hour for the dough to double in size.

  1. If using a CVap Cook and Hold Oven, program it to a Food Temperature setting of 130°F (Doneness) and a Food Texture setting of 10 (Browning), with Constant Cook ON, and set the timer for 20 minutes. If using a CVap Retherm Oven, set it to Channel 7 and set the timer to 14 minutes.
  2. Combine boiling solution and bring to a boil. Punch dough down, divide into two equal portions, and roll into a log approximately 2″ in diameter. Cut each dough log into approximately 6-12 individual balls, dependent upon the size buns you desire. Form into tight rolls and boil all rolls for approximately 2 minutes. Next, use a slotted spoon to remove rolls from boiling water.
  3. Place rolls on parchment-lined baking sheets and brush with egg wash. Cut across each roll with very sharp knife. Place in oven and bake for recommended time based upon oven selected. Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.

 

 

This gave us the exact exterior color and texture we were seeking.
The interior had just the right chew without being too “doughy.”

Pork Loin Sliders

Ingredients (per slider)

Directions

Pork Loin Preparation

  1. Program a CVap Cook and Hold Oven to a Food Temperature setting of 135°F (Doneness) and a Food Texture setting of 0 (Browning). Allow about 30 minutes for pre-heating.
  2. Arrange the pork loin on a parchment-lined sheet tray.
  3. Place the pork into a preheated oven and place it into the preheated oven.

It should take about an hour for the pork to reach 135°F, minimum endpoint temperature.  Preparing the pork in this manner (staging) will save a great deal of time during the finishing process!

Apple-Cabbage Slaw

Directions

Preparation

  • Sliced Granny Smith Apples
  • 1/2 head green cabbage (sliced)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar.

Combine slaw ingredients. If you want a creamier slaw, mix in 1 or 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Adjust seasoning to taste, and add salt and pepper if desired. For more acidity, add a squirt of fresh lemon juice.

Pretzel slider bun with pulled pork loin and slaw

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