I would hate to be accused of waxing melodramatic about a snack food (or a computer game, for that matter) – but have you ever noticed how positively persistent fans of pretzels can be about their gnosh of choice? There seem to be two camps among homemade pretzel lovers: those who crave the satisfying simplicity of recipes that send pretzels straight into the oven for a quick and easy bake, versus others who want dyed-in-the-wool traditional pretzels made the old-fashioned way.
While the 'net-addicted crew at WoW Insider is easily mesmerized by clicking around the intertubes in search of authentic pretzel history and methodology, we recognize that our intrepid readers may want to get on with the show, make the pretzels already and log in to play. Well Fed Buff brings you what we think is the best of the quickie pretzel recipes. Keep reading for a link to the whole fermented truth about pretzels.
Requires Level 65
Use: Restores 7500 health over 30 sec. Must remain seated while eating.
Rock-Salted Pretzels are available from Plugger Spazzring in Blackrock Depths. (We've heard tell that they're also available from Brewfest vendors – can anyone confirm?)
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F.)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1. Buff. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let sit until smooth (about 10 minutes).
2. Position the raid. In a large bowl, mix together flour, ½ cup sugar and salt. Make an indentation in the center; add the butter (softened) and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough, adding a dash of water if the mixture is too dry. Knead until smooth (about 7 to 8 minutes).
3. Log out until the raid leader's ready. Place the dough in a large, lightly-oiled bowl; turn the dough to coat thoroughly with oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise undisturbed in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
4. Log back in and apply last-minute buffs. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water.
5. Send in the melee. Turn dough onto a lightly-floured surface and divide into 12 equal portions. Using your hands, roll each portion into a rope, then twist into your desired pretzel shape (extra points for creative specs that still get the job done).
6. Shield the melee during transition. Dip each pretzel into the baking soda crust coating solution. Place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
7. Full DPS. Bake at 450 degrees F. for 8-10 minutes or until browned.
Holy spec Use all white flour.
Prot spec Use all whole wheat flour.
Hybrid spec Drop the kosher salt talent; try putting points in sesame seeds or grated Parmesan.
Bear spec Brush with butter before adding toppings. Makes for a fatter, stickier player.
GF spec Entice your girlfriend or wife to play by speccing all the way up to a cinnamon sugar topping.
Old World pretzels
The Rock-Salted Pretzel recipe is admittedly a quickie (but goodie). Traditionally, German bakers made pretzels with lye – yes, the caustic stuff! The baking soda/water solution of our WoW recipe provides a similar effect (the "Maillard reaction"); some bakers also then boil the pretzels briefly before baking. Then there are pretzels that are made with fermented dough. Read a nice overview of some of these techniques at The Fresh Loaf's pretzel page.