I have mixed feelings about the pretzel. Let’s get down to it.
The texture of the crust was correct. The color, maybe. Maybe I was expecting something browner.
I know I didn’t put any toppings on it; could have put sesame seed, fennel seed and a few other seeds I may have around the house. But I didn’t, mainly because I was testing the recipe.
A disaster! It looks more like a golden dog poop. Especially the first ones I shaped: it is even possible to see the dried up parts in some of them.
After shaping, the dough proofed a lot more than I expected. It nearly doubled in size, and all the crevices disappeared.
I also wanted a double loop pretzel, not the single loop as I made it. The dough consistency and thickness stopped me from progressing.
On the day, the crumb was beautiful! It was as I expected to see in a pretzel, I think. Need to go out and try to find a pretzel place to compare it with.
Today, the pretzel is really hard.
As a regular bread, great. As a pretzel, sub-par. I don’t know why, but I was expecting a sweeter taste on the dough. I might have to put honey or sugar on the next batch.
I heard about a “baking soda glaze” for pretzels. I believe it would give a slightly salty (not overly salty like the small rock salts on a pretzel) sour taste on the outside that is very characteristic of a pretzel and would contrast with the dough. The contrast may enable it to taste slightly sweeter than it is.
As a bread it kind of works: the taste (of bread) is there and the texture of the crumb was beautiful. As a pretzel? It fails badly.