Friday, August 12, 2011

Soft pillowy pretzels

As a child, Target meant one thing to me: PRETZELS.  Soft, chewy bread, the memory of which makes me salivate even now, crunchy crystals of salt.  With one of these in hand, I would happily wander the aisle while Mom found the necessary elements to make our life keep going.  In my head, that bulls eye will always be associated with salty, chewy goodness.

Of course, I now troll the aisle of Target at least weekly because it gives me a sense of calm to find everything necessary for life in an orderly and colorful array.  I do this without the help of a pretzel.

I love how the bread stretches immensely before it breaks as you pull the pretzel pieces apart.  There is magic contained in the bready goodness of every pretzel.

However, pretzels are still glorious things.  I saw one on a blog and knew I had to make it mine.  These ended up being tasty, easy, and even better (because sweeter) than their Target forebearers.  Dijon mustard would be a good fit.  This is super easy and goes well with Shiner.  Then again, what doesn't? :-)

4 tsp yeast
1 T sugar
1 c warm water

5 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1.5 tsp salt
1 T butter, melted

.5 c baking soda
4 c water

1) Get that yeast going in the warm water with the sugar.  Let sit 10 minutes until downright frothy.
2) Mix flour, sugar, salt, butter and yeast mixture together.  Knead for 8ish minutes.  Let rise for an hour.
3) Divide dough into 12 equal parts, roll out and form pretzel shapes.  Heat oven to 450.
4) Mix baking soda and water.  Dip each pretzel in soda water and put on baking sheet. Dust with salt or flavorings to suit.
5) Bake at 450 for 8 minutes.

Recipe from Christa Rose at AllRecipes.

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