recipe: homemade soft pretzels

We had a snow day this week, and like most snow days, it sparked some kitchen creativity. I’m really excited to share this recipe on the blog because it was literally one of the best things I’ve ever made, if I do say so myself. I think it earned me heaps of girlfriend points.

pretzels.cover

Full disclosure; these pretzels were inspired by Two Peas & Their Pod‘s recipe for Rosemary Sea Salt Pretzels, and my version is very similar. So- their’s came first!

Every once in a while, usually in conjunction with visiting a stadium or going to a sports game, I crave warm, soft, salty, big pretzels. And no, a trip to the Auntie Anne’s stand in our local mall would certainly not cut it. I’d never made pretzels at home before, but always wanted to. When I stumbled upon TP&TP’s post via Pinterest, I knew I had to give it a shot.

Although somewhat time consuming, the actual process of putting together soft pretzels is pretty simple. The most fun part is, of course, the twisting of the dough into the standard ‘pretzel’ shape:

pretzelsraw

I was always ‘that kid’ who loved playing with clay and play-dough, so I love working with dough and molding it into different shapes.

I served these as a dinner side dish, along with honey mustard, to a big salad with mixed greens, cranberries, pecans, and goat cheese. I thought it would be a fun substitute for garlic bread or some other type of carbohydrate salad accompaniment.

Do I have anyone salivating yet? Recipe? Of course.

pretzels.finished

*recipe makes 10 pretzels

You will need…

  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp organic sugar
  • 4 tbps butter, melted
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour + 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • water (for boiling the pretzels later)
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten + 2 tbsp milk
  • sea salt

Method…

  1. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the water, yeast, butter, and sugar, mix until combined. Let stand approx 4 – 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rosemary and salt, stir to combine. Slowly add the flour, about a cup at a time, and mix on low speed until combined. I suggest you use a dough hook as the attachment. Continue mixing until the dough forms itself into a ball and rotates around the dough hook (about 3 minutes). If the dough is too wet; add a little more flour. If the dough is too dry; add a touch more water.
  3. Take the dough out from the bowl, place on a clean & floured surface, and knead with your hands. Work the dough into a round ball and transfer to a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit approx 1 hour; the dough should double in size during this time.
  4. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 10 even pieces. Work the first piece into a long log, rolling between your hands or against a flat countertop surface. To make the pretzel shape, grab the ends and swing them up, almost as though you are making a circle. Instead of making a circle, bring each end inwards towards the center, twisting twice. Press to seal the dough into itself. Repeat with each piece of dough, making 10 pretzels.
  5. Pour the baking soda into the boiling water, slowly. Boil the pretzels in the water, only two at a time, for 20 seconds each. Remove with a slotted spatula and place on a greased baking sheet. Brush each pretzel with the egg + milk wash, and coat generously with sea salt.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven approx 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Let cool and enjoy!!!!

snow

Reader Question: What do you like cooking during snow days?

DePostButton

‘I Love You Because’ by Kate

Shortly after Dan and I got married, I made the decision that each day I would declare a reason why I love him. Feel free to insert your ‘aw’s and/or eye rolls here. My reason behind this was simple, I didn’t want to reach a point where we took one another for granted or started to lack appreciation for the things we once found obvious and endearing.

And so it began. The reasons varied from seemingly insignificant, ‘you fill our water glass each night’ to monumental, ‘you do the dishes’. Anyone who has ever stared at a sink full of dinner plates when all they wanted to do was climb into bed and watch their favorite Nick at Nite rerun of ‘Full House’ can understand that one.
Image

What I’ve come to realize in considering and expressing the things that Dan and I are grateful for in each other, is how much every relationship I have can benefit from the same spoken appreciation. My sister deserves to know that I love how thoughtful and generous she is. My best friend deserves to know that I love our catch up phone calls and the free counseling session she provides during them. Let’s face it, life can be hard and our days are not always perfect. It’s amazing what an ‘I Love You Because’ can do.

Reader Question – What is your favorite way to express appreciation for the people you love?

KatePostButton

game day food

DePostButtonI’ll confess, I’m not really a big football fan. If the New-England Patriots are playing, I’ll attempt to rally. If they’re in the Super Bowl, I will definitely rally. But other than that, football just doesn’t really do it for me. I have trouble understanding it; it’s like my brain won’t comprehend the information. It’s been explained to me multiple times, by my brother, by my boyfriend, but the details float out of my brain minutes later. Probably not too different from how I failed to retain anything from math classes in high school.

That said, if there’s one thing I am good at, it’s preparing food for the viewing of the big game. I can handle that.

Read on for some game-day recipes guaranteed to please both the  football lovers and football-confused alike.

(more…)