Recipe 14: Buttery Soft Pretzels

April 2, 2011


Listening to: Haley Bonar (Song: LeO – on repeat)

“That doesn’t look like Auntie Anne’s. That looks like poop.”

The last time I had a homemade pretzel, I was in high school. I was meeting up with two of my dearest friends in a place we had been many times before, Lisa’s kitchen. The girls were experimenting with pretzels.

I say experimenting because they were just adding a bunch of random crap to pretzels to see what they liked. Different spices, different toppings. I don’t remember specifically what things they used. I just remember the one they made for me and my tongue swelling to the point of slurred speech.

The girls had saved one special pretzel for me. I was hungry. I thought they were normal pretzels. They weren’t. Mine was filled with excess amounts of Tabasco sauce. The girls laughed as water filled my eyes and I tried to drench the pain out with milk. I couldn’t talk for the rest of the night. The girls still like to bring this up every now and then. Remember when we made you that pretzel? Yes. I remember my mouth burning with the fires of Mordor.

My pretzels were made sans Tabasco.

I made the dough while Judah-Judah and Kristi slept. It was a beautiful afternoon in the kitchen, and I knew what I was doing because I made a different dough yesterday. This dough had a lot more flour and yeast, and that made it pretty tough to knead. But it was still only about a 30 minute process to make the dough.

The dough rose for an hour in a towel covered bowl and then it was time to form the pretzels.

Kristi walked downstairs to pretzels that were mostly just clumps of dough. I tried really hard, but this dough was SO hard to roll out. It kept reforming. Kristi tried the Auntie Anne’s way in spinning the rod of dough in the air to form it. That worked a little better. But there were a lot of scraps that couldn’t be salvaged after I put my hands on them. Some remained as rods. Kristi made one into a question mark as if to ask: are these going to taste better than they look?

They did.

After covering them in a baking soda solution (which would give them their hard shell), they cooked for eight minutes. They were SO good. Even straight our of the oven, just lightly salted. We added some butter, and I swear we blew Auntie Anne’s out of the water.

Lessons learned:

1. Two straight days of cooking does not a clean kitchen make.

2. Hold the Tabasco.

On to the next one.











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