I can’t believe this is the finale week for The American Baking Competition. This new show from CBS was summer’s sweetest sensation. Marcela Valladolid, one of our favorite chefs lights up the small screen as a judge, along with UK artisan baker, Paul Hollywood, and host Jeff Foxworthy – one of the country’s most successful comedians.
Tune in to the finale this Wednesday, July 10th at 9/8c , and make sure to join the conversation on Twitter at #GetYourBakeOn to get social! Then be sure to check out the winning recipes on the official website at http://www.cbs.com/shows/american-baking-competition/>.
This week we’d like to share a Q&A with Paul Hollywood…
Week 4- Soft Pretzels – Perfect for summertime!
- 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 package instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 ounces butter, melted
- Vegetable oil, for pan
- 10 cups water
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with water
- Pretzel salt
- Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt, butter, yeast, flour until dough forms
- Knead. Place kneaded dough in an oiled bowl.
- Proof until dough has doubled in size. About 50 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
- In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel.
- Place the pretzels into the boiling water for 30 to 35 seconds each. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes.
About The American Baking Competition: Each week, The American Baking Competition will feature passionate home bakers, who were chosen from a nationwide search of amateur bakers at local casting bake-offs. They will compete in three unique challenges – “Signature Bake,” “Technical Bake” and “Showstopper Bake.” The contestant who out-bakes the rest is that week’s “Star Baker,” while the one whose creations fail to impress is eliminated. The final challenge will be between the three remaining contestants, one of whom will go on to be crowned the best amateur baker in America and win the $250,000 grand prize. The winner will also be awarded a publishing contract with Simon & Schuster to publish their own cookbook with Gallery Books.