Recipe for Pletzel from The Savory Baker

Cookbook review by Tracey Zabar

Pletzel is an onion-poppy seed flatbread, which bakeries apparently don’t make any more. It’s time that we home bakers do! Although the dough is somewhat sticky and difficult to work with, it’s worth the challenge. I added the water a little at a time, and ended up using less than noted in this recipe. Try it, it’s a fun, stuck-in-the-house-day project. Then, go on to bake through this book, which is bursting with amazing recipes for all sorts of hand pies, stuffed breads, and even a savory tarte tatin, made with apples and fennel. Next on my list: spinach pie, cheese bread, and another tart, this one covered in smoked salmon and leeks. Oh, and one more—a rustic pie made with phyllo dough, stuffed with tomatoes and eggplant. 

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Recipe excerpted with permission from The Savory Baker (America’s Test Kitchen)

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Serves 6 to 8

We found that while kneading the dough in a stand mixer on high speed, the mixer tended to wobble. To prevent this, place a towel or shelf liner under the mixer and watch it during mixing. Handle the dough with your lightly oiled hands and resist flouring your fingers or the dough might stick. Plan ahead: The dough needs to rise for about 3 hours before baking.

• 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
• 1⅔ cups water, room temperature
• Kosher salt
• 1½ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
• 1¼ teaspoons sugar
• 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 onions, chopped fine
• 2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1. Place towel or shelf liner beneath stand mixer to prevent wobbling and fit mixer with dough hook. Add flour, water, and 2½ teaspoons salt to bowl and mix on low speed until no patches of dry flour remain, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Turn off mixer and let dough rest for 20 minutes.

2. Sprinkle yeast and sugar over dough. Knead on low speed until fully combined, about 2 minutes, occasionally scraping down bowl as needed. Increase mixer speed to high and knead until dough is glossy, smooth, and pulls away from sides of bowl, 8 to 10 minutes. (Dough will only pull away from sides while mixer is on. When mixer is off, dough will fall back to sides.)

3. Using your fingers, coat large bowl and rubber spatula with 1 tablespoon oil. Using oiled spatula, transfer dough to bowl and pour 1 tablespoon oil over top. Flip dough over once so it is well coated with oil; cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until nearly tripled in volume and large bubbles have formed, 2 to 2½ hours.

4. While dough rises, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in poppy seeds. Transfer to bowl and set aside. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees.

5. Coat bottom and sides of rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Using oiled rubber spatula, turn out dough onto prepared sheet along with any oil remaining in bowl.

6. Using your oiled fingertips, press dough out toward edges of sheet, taking care not to tear it. (Dough will not fit snugly into corners. If dough resists stretching, let it relax for 5 to 10 minutes before trying to stretch again.) Let dough rise, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes. (Dough will increase but not quite double in volume.)

7. Using your oiled fingertips, press dough out toward edges of sheet once more. Using dinner fork, poke surface of dough 30 to 40 times. Brush top of dough with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons salt. Distribute onion–poppy seed mixture evenly over dough, leaving ½-inch border around edge.

8. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 23 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Using metal spatula, transfer pletzel to cutting board. Slice and serve.


Tracey Zabar's Chocolate Chip Sweets: Celebrated Chefs Share Favorite Recipes is available here.
A delectable collection of innovative chocolate chip recipes by world-renowned chefs, pastry chefs, and bakers

Tracey Zabar's One Sweet Cookie Cookbook is available here.
A delicious collection of cookie recipes from extraordinary chefs, pastry chefs, and bakers. A great gift sure to delight anyone who loves to bake.

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