Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday’s Culinary Adventure.


Tonight, on Thursday’s Culinary Adventure:2-18-09 009


I was walking through the mall yesterday, gripping the stroller handle to keep from buying a cinnamon and sugar pretzel.  Those things are gooood, but cost about a million bucks.  Why?  Aren’t they just flour, sugar, and water? (yes.)

So, I decided to outsmart those inflation-hungry-pretzel-bosses and make my own!

Fingers crossed that they are at least half as good…

I got this recipe off

In a large bowl (or your mixer) dump in:

4 tsp. active dry yeast

1 tsp. white sugar

1 1/4 c. warm water

Let that all sit for a few minutes, and then add

5 c. all purpose flour

1/2 c. white sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tb. vegetable oil

Knead dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes.  Or, take a quick nap as your mixer does it for you.  (The thrill of having a mixer will never die…)

2-18-09 001 Don’t I look peaceful?  It was actually hard to open my eyes back up.

If you find your dough to be a little dry (I did),2-18-09 002 you can add a Tb. or two of water.

This will be a really dense, heavy dough!

Put your dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel, and put in a warm, dry place to rise until doubled (about 1 hr.)2-18-09 003

I always put my dough to rise in my warm oven- but feel free to do whatever works for you.

Look doubled? 2-18-09 004

Eh, close enough!

Start preheating your oven to 425 degrees.

Divide the ball of dough into 12 pieces.2-18-09 006

Roll each piece into a long “snake.”2-18-09 005

Twist into a pretzel shape.    2-18-09 007 (okay, this step took a minute for my brain to figure out…)

Now, here comes the crucial part.

In a large bowl, mix 1/2 c. BAKING SODA with 4 cups hot, hot water.  Stir until the baking soda is dissolved.

Dip the twisted pretzel into this water/soda mix and then place on a parchment-lined (or greased) cookie sheet.

You may ask, why the baking soda?  Apparently, pretzel makers used to dip their pretzels in LYE, and the baking soda is a modern twist.  This is what makes the outside of the pretzel a little bit tougher and gives it a different taste.  Otherwise, it is just twisted bread, yes?

Bake for 8 minutes, or until brown.

I melted some butter in a baking dish, mixed up some cinnamon and sugar, 2-18-09 008 and got out the parmesan cheese.

When the pretzels came out, I dipped them into the melted butter, then either rolled them in the sugar mixture, or sprinkled on salt or cheese.

2-18-09 011


Taste Testers Say:

Caitlin:2-18-09 063

(“It worked!  They are Goooood!”  PS  Look, Mom, I made my bed! And NO, I didn’t have this messy ponytail all day.  That’s a special treat for Brian in the evenings.)


2-18-09 058

(I ran to the bathroom where he was starting to give Joseph a bath and said, “Quick Brian, show me what your face looked like when you tried the pretzels!!”  Here you go.)


Delicious!!  Oh, my heavens, when these were warm out of the oven, they tasted JUST LIKE the pretzels at the mall! 

If I were you, I would skip all of the other toppings and just do the cinnamon and sugar.  But, maybe that’s just me. (and Brian!) 

Next time, I would also let the raw pretzels drip for a few minutes after dipping in the soda, but before putting them on the cookie sheet.  The soda solution pooled a bit on the bottoms, and gave a few of them a little too much “tang” for my preference.

I will never buy pretzels again!


Let’s hope that they held up well, because I wrapped some up and gave it to two of my friends for my “Treat Of The Month Club.”

2-18-09 014 (They got a year long membership for their birthdays…)

Wish you could try these?  Well, move to Boise, become my friend, have a birthday, and VOILA! 

Or else make them on your own.

You won’t be sorry that you did!

Grade:  A+




Ter said...

Girl, those look so good that I nearly licked my computer screen. ;)

Mommy of M's said...

OMG, I can't wait to make these. I might have to put it off until next Saturday, but I WILL MAKE THESE!

T Rex Mom said...

YYYYUUUUUMMMMMM!!!!! A++ Oh so good - I liked the plain ones! Yes, you can all be jealous - I am enrolled in the treat of the month club! So glad I had Alias to give you for all your hard work! Thanks so much!

Momma said...

Can you make them next time we come to visit? They look delicious! By the way, we visited for 3 days with Caitlin this past weekend and didn't see the "famous" mixer in action. Does she really love it as much as she CLAIMS she does??? You be the judge!

Jen said...

Wow, super impressed and Laughing out loud at this post.

Brenna said...

Look so good! I sometimes boil ( yes boil) the pretzels for a minute. That also gives it a chewy outside.