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Livin’ and Learnin’

Submitted by: laree on November 1, 2010
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Livin' and Learnin'

Much to my family’s dismay, it is that time of year where I try new recipes two or three times a week. I am not sure why I do this, or why it is associated with Fall, but the need to learn new recipes becomes a compulsion. A …

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Ingredients

Directions

Much to my family’s dismay, it is that time of year where I try new recipes two or three times a week. I am not sure why I do this, or why it is associated with Fall, but the need to learn new recipes becomes a compulsion. A STRONG ONE.


Perhaps it is the impending holidays with non-stop family gatherings or a winter nesting instinct. Maybe it is the multiple (required) work potlucks where I gotta rep-re-sent against women twice my age. Or maybe it is that the days of blistering heat have passed, and I can finally turn on my oven.

Whatever it is, I have a tendency to pick complicated obscure recipes, and my family suffers. SUFFERS. What toddler wants to eat fig clafouti? Maybe French toddlers, but not mine. Still, even when my experiments fail, (and I mean FAIL), I usually learn something worth applying to my everyday fare.

Today’s lesson — Make pretzel sticks, not knots!

Why? Because I am unable to roll or fold a pretzel. It is not a skill I have. I cannot fold anything neatly, ever. Like at my first job out of college, when I was banned from folding invoices and stuffing envelopes. My husband has banned me from folding towels. You should hear the ruckus if I put away a fitted sheet.

But still, I was compelled to try.

Look at them. All ungainly and obscene. I know they are laughing at me.

Laugh it up, Chuckles. I am going to EAT you.

And thankfully, so did the family. New recipe: PASS!

SOFT PRETZELS

Original Recipe from www.joythebaker.com

1 tablespoon sugar
1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pretzel salt or grill seasoning
1 heaping Tablespoon baking soda

Stir together sugar, yeast, and 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (105 to 110°F) let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Mix 3 1/2 cups of flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and mix until it forms a dough. Knead until smooth, but leave dough slightly sticky for easier pretzel formation.

Return dough to bowl and cover, let dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. Using your palms, roll 1 piece back and forth on a clean dry work surface into a rope about 24 inches long. If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust them with flour. Twist dough into a pretzel shape. (Dough will retract as you form the pretzel.)

Transfer pretzel with your hands to an oiled baking sheet and form 7 more pretzels in same manner with remaining dough, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart.

Let pretzels stand, uncovered, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile Preheat oven to 425°F.

Bring a wide 6-quart pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add heaping tablespoon of baking soda. The baking soda will help the pretzels brown.

Carefully add 2 (maybe 3) pretzels, 1 at a time, to boiling water and cook. Cook about 1.5 minutes on each side. Use tongs to turn over pretzels.

Transfer parboiled pretzels to a rack to cool.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and oil paper, then arrange pretzels on sheet. Brush pretzels lightly with some of egg and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Bake until golden brown and lightly crusted, about 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes, then serve warm.

NOTES: I found my pretzels were done in 20 minutes, not 35.

Get the handy print page and save this to your recipe box here:
Soft Pretzels.


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Comments

8 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 11-1
    6:58
    am

    Larissa, I think your soft pretzels look delicious. I have never made them myself. The boiling before baking is similar to making bagels. I shall have to try this recipe. Thanks!

  2. 11-1
    7:50
    am

    Larissa,

    I’m adding this recipe to my “to-do” file. I love trying new recipes. My family calls them experimental dinners. Some work, some not so much. How do you know until you try? Keep trying and keep posting. Thanks for the new idea.

  3. 11-1
    10:50
    am

    Great post! Thanks for sharing what you may consider a failure, but sure looks like a delicious success from here!!

  4. 11-1
    10:53
    am

    Some of the best recipes come from total failures….I tried Suzanne’s swirly spice bread this weekend—and while it was yummy, it was all weird and gooey inside. Maybe I should read the recipe before marching off to the kitchen? The second batch of bread was PERFECT. I actually FOLLOWED THE RECIPE. Go me! Suzanne knows all.

    • 11-1
      1:53
      pm

      Larissa, that’s what I found out with cheese recipes. It works so much better if you follow the recipe! LOL!

  5. 11-1
    12:47
    pm

    I think those pretzels look great — maybe you just like to fold food better than sheets? While pretty is great….every one of my family goes for taste (as longs as it looks EDIBLE). Practice makes perfect 🙂

    Love your posts, Larissa, keep them up 🙂

  6. 11-1
    4:20
    pm

    Aw Larissa! I recognized the pretzel on the main page 🙂

  7. 11-1
    8:54
    pm

    I think it sounds like a great fall project. The more you do and the more you learn. I generally get more creative in fall and winter. It probably has more to do with the fact that I don’t have to crank up the air conditioner to compensate for all the extra heat in the kitchen.

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