Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hot Pretzels-Have the Cake's September Challenge

While some people are lured by the smell of Cinnabon wafting through the mall, the hot pretzel has always been my thing. It used to be Hot Sam's but with the opening of Auntie Anne's, Sam was tossed to the curb. I prefer just the plain pretzel with just a little bit of salt. No cinnamon sugar, no garlic, no fancy almond flavors and no dipping sauce. Just a mushy, doughy, hot buttered pretzel. That is perfection, people. This challenge was made for me. So, after searching through all the recipes on there I chose this one from allrecipes.com. It seemed simple enough and got really good reviews.
Rule #1 in baking. Read through your recipe first and follow directions. whoops. I put everything in my trusty mixer and started it kneading. Hmmmmm...It just wasn't coming together. I added more flour. A little more flour. It was just a sticky mess. I finally just dumped the dough in to a greased bowl and covered it to let it rise hoping that might make it better. While putting everything away I noticed my new, unopened bag of bread flour on the counter. Right. Forgot to add the cup of bread flour. Okay. In the garbage goes effed up batch number one.
Let's try this again. Amazing how much better it worked the second time around. Mixed up beautifully. Put it in the greased bowl to rise for an hour. Perfect. Cut the dough up in to 10 pieces. Rolled it out, made some pretzel-like shaped and dipped them in the warm water-baking soda mixture. Put the dough on to parchment paper on cookie sheets and in the oven for about 10 minutes.
All baked up they look a little pale and anemic but the bottoms were golden-colored so I knew they were done. I brushed each one with melted butter and sprinkled them with kosher salt. They were delicious. I ate them all. They made up all my lunch and dinner today. I would make these again for sure and may even give that whole cinnamon sugar thing a try.