Crave is the second book from Sunday Times bestselling author and Great British Bake Off contestant, Martha Collison. Using brilliant food science and delicious flavour combinations, she provides go-to recipes incorporating 8 of those things we so often hanker for: citrus, fruit, nut, spice, chocolate, caramel, cheese – and alcohol! Creative, inspiring and imaginative, these are the recipes you just have to have.
Gouda and Smoked Paprika Pretzels
‘I can never resist one of their freshly baked knots; the
ones smothered in cheese are my favourite. The go-to guilty snack
makes the long train journey much more bearable! It’s easy to make
your own pretzels, which, curiously, are boiled before they are baked,
much like a bagel. This prevents them from rising too much in the
oven, giving them a dense and chewy texture. I use an aged Gouda to
give the pretzels a tangy flavour, but any hard cheese will work well.’ – Martha Collison
75g unsalted butter,
200ml whole milk
500g strong plain flour
1 x 7g sachet fast-action
1 tsp fine salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
Oil, for greasing
3 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg, beaten
100g aged Gouda, grated
2 tsp hot smoked paprika
First line a baking tray with baking paper.
Put the butter in a small saucepan with the milk. Heat over a low heat until
the cubes of butter are completely melted, then set to one side to allow the
mixture to cool for a few minutes.
2. Place the flour in a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the
dough-hook attachment, and add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the
salt and sugar to the other. If you put the salt directly on the yeast it may kill
it, which will stop your dough from rising.
3. Gradually add the milk and butter mixture to the dry mixture, stirring all
the time, until a sticky dough forms. You may not need to add all the milk
mixture – you want to add just enough to form a sticky but not wet dough.
4. Tip the dough on to a lightly oiled worktop and knead for 10–15 minutes or
until it is no longer sticky and has become smooth and elastic. Alternatively,
knead using the dough-hook attachment on the stand mixer for 5 minutes.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm
place for 1–2 hours or until doubled in size.
5. When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/gas 6 and
line 2 large baking sheets with baking parchment. Tip the risen dough out of
the bowl on to an oiled worktop and fold it in on itself a couple of times to
knock out any large air bubbles.
6. Divide the dough into 12 pieces. To shape the pretzels, take a piece of dough
and roll it into a long rope shape that is slightly thinner at the ends. Take
both ends of the rope and twist them together once, then lay the ends down
over the bottom loop and press in to create a classic pretzel shape. Place on
a baking sheet and cover with a tea towel to stop the dough drying out while
you shape the remaining dough.
7. Bring 1.5 litres of water to the boil in a saucepan. When the water is boiling,
add the bicarbonate of soda and stir in until it stops fizzing. Turn the heat
down and leave the mixture at a low simmer.
8. Carefully lower the pretzels into the saucepan, a few at a time, and poach
for around 30 seconds each, flipping the pretzels halfway through. Remove
from the water and dry the bottoms on a piece of kitchen paper before
placing on a baking sheet. Brush the pretzels with beaten egg and sprinkle
with the grated cheese and smoked paprika, then bake for 20–25 minutes
until the cheese has melted and the pretzels are golden brown all over.
9. Remove from the oven and allow the pretzels to cool for 5 minutes on the
baking sheets, then enjoy warm. These are best eaten on the day they are
made but can be refreshed by warming up in the oven for the next few days.
by Martha Collison
Out 27th July
Read more from Martha Collison on her website: www.bakingmartha.co.uk