Sunday, April 17, 2011

Twisted: Part 1

I was finally able to check off one of my blideas (blog ideas) this week, I have been wanting to do this one for a while now, so I was really excited about (drum roll please)..... PRETZELS!!  I come from a long line of pretzel lovers, my dad is even known to eat an entire bag of the crunchy salty treats in one sitting or a drive home from the grocery store (true story).  And when it comes to these twisted delights, I don't discriminate, give me thin and delicate, salty and sourdough, soft and chewy, I like them all.  This is only part 1 of the pretzel post because I decided to take on two different types of cooking methods and then compare the results.  For my first batch I made a 100% whole wheat (oh yeah) soft baked pretzels from a recipe over at Heavenly Homemakers, thank you Laura.  She gives a great step by step break down of the process so if you need more details please check out her post, I didn't make any tweaks to her recipe since it was already 100% whole wheat but I did half the recipe for this first try.

1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp yeast
2 tsp honey
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 honey
2 tsp salt
4 cups whole wheat flour
tbsp butter, melted
kosher salt


Mix the water, yeast and honey in a large bowl until yeast is completely dissolved, let this sit.  Next melt your 1/2 stick of butter in a medium saucepan adding in the remaining 1/4 cup of honey, salt and milk, heat this to 120 degrees.  Pour this milk mixture into your yeast mixture and stir.  Add in your flour, one cup at a time until your dough is formed.  Knead the dough for about 5 minutes and place it in a large bowl, cover it and let sit for 1-1 1/2 hours.  Once the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and give it a couple quick kneads to release any remaining air bubbles.  Take a ball of dough, about the size of your fist, and roll it into a long rope.  Twist into your desired shape and place about an inch apart on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Immediately after taking the pretzels out of the oven, brush them with melted butter and sprinkle on the salt.  I would brush and salt each one at a time since the salt will not stick well if you butter all of them first then come back and salt, I made this mistake so you wouldn't have to : ). 

The recipe turned out fantastic, these pretzels where soft and chewy with a nice denseness to them and a wonderful earthly, salty and slightly sweet taste.  The pretzel stash didn't even last 24 hours, but I'm not really surprised given the pretzel lovers that I live with.  As you might remember my mention of a mustard fail the other day, my intention was for the dipping sauces to go hand in hand with my pretzels but I promise they will still be making an appearance in the near future.  For the next pretzel post I will be attempting a more traditional soft version recipe that involves a quick flash boiling, it will be interesting to see how the two compare! 

I thought I would mix it up a bit and formed some into little pretzel nuggets, how cute and perfect for snacking!
pretzels + beer = one very happy me : )

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. And happy us! We do try to substitute whole wheat for white flour whenever possible, but unfortunately the results are not always the best. Surprisingly these pretzels were amazing - the best pretzels I have ever had! I will say though that I had one warm out of the oven with a cold glass of Anchor Steam, and that's pretty hard to beat. Looking forward to the next pretzel experiment and mustards (take 2). We just finally said goodbye to all the mustard fail jars on the counter last night. We also cleaned out the fridge, which was a major effort that I think would be a fascinating blog post as well. :)