Easy Pretzel Focaccia

easy pretzel focaccia
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Not gonna lie. This pretzel focaccia is the best kind of recipe: an impressive result but much easier to make than it appears to be.

It’s perfect for every day snacking, converting to sandwich bread, or feeding a big crowd. And you likely have all the ingredients you need sitting in the pantry right now.

It’s soft, salty, crispy, buttery with a nice chew and a good pretzel taste. Don’t be intimated. Give it a try.

Like the best bread, nothing fancy here. Mostly just salt, water, yeast and flour.

The only real tricky part of this recipe is the upfront timing. You need to start the dough a day ahead so it can ferment and chill. You might squeeze that down to 12 hours but at least a day is best.

Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a large container.

Add the warm water slowly in batches. Stir to combine. I needed to add extra flour to get a better consistency. As written up in the Bon Appetit recipe, my dough was very wet and very loose. Maybe it would have worked, but I added extra flour and still loved the end result.

Cover and stick it in the fridge for at least day. Even with a cool, long ferment, it should have risen by the next day.

Gently turn the dough out onto the greased and oiled pan then gently (it’s a theme) spread to the edges of the pan. It should spread and stretch fairly easily. If it doesn’t, let it rest for 20 minutes and try again. When you’ve got it in the corners, brush with the baking soda solution.

Let it sit while the oven preheats. It should be bubbly and loose.

Put it in the oven. Brush with butter and more baking soda after ten minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for 10-15 more minutes. Don’t be afraid to let it get dark.

This doesn’t quite have the strong pretzel taste that you would get using the traditional lye but it more than makes up for it with ease of use and overall taste. This is a nice cross between traditional focaccia and pretzel bread without the goggles and mild danger of the lye.

It would be great split in half for special sandwich bread, used in strips for an appetizer dipper, or simply topped with mustard, sauerkraut or pickles. It’s versatile!

Don’t let the length of the instructions scare you off. It’s not very difficult and there is a lot of hands off time.

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  1. This look delicious! Do think the baking soda method would work on any focaccia recipe? I have one I already love, but I am not sure if this recipe resulted in a more “pretzel-y” crumb. Fun fact: I did not know how to spell focaccia before typing my comment. (And pretzel-y is a word now, too.) Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

    1. I think the ‘fake’ pretzel baking soda would definitely give any bread a darker, more pretzel-like skin just based on the chemistry if that’s the effect you are looking for. I definitely think I could have been a little better and more uniform with my application if I do it again. It definitely doesn’t have the exact same true pretzel taste you’d get if you used lye but it is a lot quicker!

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