Wednesday, August 5, 2015

soft pretzels

orgami tigers
The heat has come back to the PNW which is not the perfect time for me to be on a baking streak. None the less, I have been making dough, in between fixing my KitchenAid mixer, as the head had come completely off the pin so was thunking around while kneading the dough, most alarming. However, we managed to get the pin back where it should be and the mixer head is back in place. Phew.
a goat spied on a local beach...
Also, in the midst of sewing some curtains for our newly painted laundry room (and sewing/craft/cat bedroom) my sewing machine began to sound severly asthmatic, slowed down and finally stopped completely, so it is off being repaired. Of course, I have been struck with quilting fever and want to be making and sewing a couple of projects, once the curtains are finished. Hopefully my old faithful Bernina can be repaired with a bit of TLC and possibly some oil.

In between mornings at drop in soccer camp and afternoons at the park or playing with friends or visiting lemonade stands, I made a couple of batches of these pretzels. The first batch I halved the dough and froze one half and made up the other half. The second batch went into the fridge after raising and was stickier than the first so I recommend based on my experience that if you don't want to make the pretzels right away, freeze the dough and then let it thaw when you want to make them.

I've seen many recipes for pretzels but they always seemed so complicated, what with food safe lye and the twisting etc. But recently I read this post from Things we make and it seemed I should try them. Hot cinnamon sugar baked dough sounded irristible. So I made them.

Hot Soft Pretzels (from Things we Made)
2 1/4 tsp bread yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
4 tbsps butter, melted

Place the yeast, sugar, salt and flour in the bowl of a mixer, keeping the salt away from the yeast. Mix with the dough hook. Mix the melted butter into the milk and add slowly into the flour mix, until a dough forms. Knead for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is soft. Cover the bowl with the dough with plastic film and leave it for 1-2 hours to double in size.
Preheat the oven to 400 deg F. Take the risen dough and divide into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a long sausage, not using flour so the dough will be easier to roll.
 Roll each dough sausage out evenly until over 12" long or longer. Take the ends of the roll and form a U with the dough. Twist the ends over twice and then pull them towards the bottom of the U and push them into the dough to form the pretzel. Continue with all the dough.
To Dip: Dissolve 2 tbsp baking soda into 2 c hot water in a largish bowl. With a slotted spoon, slip each of the pretzels into the water, lift out and place on a cooling rack to drain slightly. Once all the pretzels are dipped, place them on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 4-5 minutes, turn the sheets and bake for another 4-5 minutes until brown.

Melt 2 tbsp butter. Once the pretzels are out of the oven, brush each with melted butter. Dip into a sugar cinnamon mixture (I've tried savory as well - chive and cheese is lovely). Eat.

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