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Pletzel Recipe

August 14, 2022 | by Joe Baur

A very oniony flatbread.

Given its simplicity, Pletzel recipes from Joan Nathan to Zabars are virtually the same. There are differing opinions on sautéing the onions before adding them to the bread or leaving them as is. But that’s about it. In the end, I used my challah dough recipe using honey and white wholewheat flour for a richer flavor. As much as I’m prone to overthinking things––is that cough an early warning sign of a debilitating disease?––I resisted the urge.

I find that pletzel works best as something on the side or as an appetizing snack. Halve the recipe if you just want one pletzel of about eight pieces––plenty for two people over a couple of days. Learn more about the origins of this flatbread.

Learn more about the The Pletzel of Paris here.

Did you know that in Jewish thinking any meal that doesn’t include bread is simply considered a snack? Get more Jewish food thoughts here.

Prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 16 pieces
Makes: 2 pletzels

INGREDIENTS

  • 7 grams (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 44 grams (¼ cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup warm water (110F/45C)
  • 600 grams (5 ⅓ cups) white whole-wheat flour, plus more as needed
  • 4 grams (1 ½ teaspoons) kosher salt
  • 76 grams (¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 80 grams (¼ cup) honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 medium white onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds, more or less to taste
  • Optional: 1 lemon

PREPARATION

Sprinkle the yeast into a small bowl with 1 cup warm water and 4 grams (1 teaspoon) of the sugar. Whisk and allow it to rest for 7 to 10 minutes, or until it’s foamy.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, remaining sugar (¼ cup), and kosher salt. Form a well in the center of the bowl and add 50 grams (¼ cup) of the olive oil and 80 grams (¼ cup) of honey. Crack and add two of the eggs into the center. Roughly combine using a large wooden spoon and add the bloomed yeast to the bowl. Mix using a stand mixer or using your hands for about 7 to 10 minutes. If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add about ½ tablespoon extra flour at a time until it forms into a ball.

Use 13 grams (1 tablespoon) of olive oil to gently grease a large bowl. Place the pletzel dough in the bowl, flipping it over to make sure both sides are lightly covered with olive oil. Cover the bowl using a damp towel. (A dry towel works if you have an already humid kitchen.) Let the dough rise for 60 minutes, or until it’s doubled in size.

Just before the dough is done rising, line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Then remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half (use a baking scale for best results) and roll the dough out using a rolling pin. Once it’s about 1 centimeter thick, move the dough to the sheet pan, and gently press using your fingertips and stretch the dough so it covers as much of the sheet pan as possible without tearing. Let it relax for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, crack the remaining egg into a small bowl, beat it with a fork, and brush the egg wash on the pletzel. Slice your onions and gently scatter it across the pletzel, pressing them slightly into the dough. (Don’t forget to split your sliced onions in half!) Then, evenly sprinkle 3 tablespoons (half for each pletzel) of poppy seeds over the pletzels.

Heat the oven to 375F/190C. Drizzle olive oil (about 13 grams or 1 tablespoon) over the pletzels and bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Optional: Turn the broiler on for one minute at the end to brown the onions if you haven’t already sautéed them.

Remove from the oven. Optional: Sprinkle the juice of half a lemon over one pletzel. Let the pletzel cool for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.




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