Our Harvest Kitchen Food Service Manager, Chef Sean Kontos, loves sharing some of his recipes for the home cook.
“It’s the time of year to start baking again. We can turn on the oven without the risk of overheating our homes. What’s a more perfect fall baking project than to make pretzels? They’re easy to make and will impress your guests. Our recipe utilizes Maine Grains flours and pairs well with local craft beer, mustards, roasted or grilled meats — and of course, Patriots games!”
Try This from Chef Sean!
Yield 10–14 pretzels, depending on size
1-1/2 c. warm water
2-1/4 tsp. dry yeast
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 c. rye flour (we like it from Maine Grains)
2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Qts. water
1/2 c. baking soda
to taste, course salt — for sprinkling
to taste, caraway — for sprinkling (optional)
- Mix the warm water with the brown sugar and the yeast in the bowl of the mixer. Let stand until the mixture starts to foam.
- Once foamy, add the flours and salt to the mixing bowl. With a dough-hook attachment, mix on medium-low speed until the dough pulls from the side. The dough should be a little tacky, but not wet or sticky. Set aside in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm location for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Once proofed, cut dough to desired size and shape. At this step, you can either form them into a pretzel shape, a braid, or even pretzel buns. Once formed, allow to proof for another 15 minutes or until about doubled in size.
- Bring a wide pot of water to a boil (about 2 quarts worth of water). Once boiling, add about 1/2 c. of baking soda. It will foam up pretty well. Drop the formed pretzels in the boiling water mixture for 15 seconds, then flip and cook for another 15 seconds. Take out and let dry as much as possible.
- Spray a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or use a silpat (nonstick silicon mat). Place the pretzels on the pan, brush with an egg-wash, and sprinkle coarse salt (and optional caraway) on top.
- Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for about 10–15 minutes or until golden brown and delicious.
About Chef Sean Kontos
Sean is a native of Dover, NH, who has been working in the food service industry for 13 years. After graduating from Johnson & Wales University with a degree in culinary arts in 2011, he went on to cook around Nantucket and the seacoast of New Hampshire, focusing on local and sustainable cooking particularly tied to whole animal butchery. After backpacking through Europe, he and his now wife moved to Providence where he worked at Local 121, eventually becoming head chef. Most recently, he helped open Farm & Coast Market in South Dartmouth, MA, as a butcher and chef. Sean started out as a volunteer with our RI Farm to School program until moving on to work with Harvest Kitchen. Today he is an important part of our team, playing a major role in our local foods café, crafting our seasonal menu, and bringing skill and expertise to our operations.