I’m a sucker for those big soft pretzels they sell in those pretzel specialty shops in the mall. The thing is though, I don’t get to the mall much these days and when I do I usually have my kids in tow who end up trotting from store to store grabbing anything that catches their fancy.
“Mommy, can I have this? I wasn’t running, I was skipping. You said it’s almost my birthday so can I just have this now?”
It doesn’t matter that you told them before going that we were on a mission for something specific and that they are to behave, walk along with mommy and not to beg and plead for something new. The last thing we need in this place is more “things” to toss into bins that are shoved in closets for the sole purpose of being able to walk through a room without tripping.
I get it though…kids loves toys, but mainly just “new” toys. The hundreds of gifted toys and toys that were acquired through begging and pleading are now in those bins and put away because well, they’re old news.
Somehow, they have even resorted to turning the kitchen into a play area at times…usually the times when I’m in there trying to clean up or cook. I am flattered, children, that you love me so much that you refuse to let me out of your site, but I can assure you that I’m only a few feet away and you will be just fine at that distance.
“The sooner you allow me to finish what I’m doing babies, the sooner I’ll be back in there with you. I’m right here”, I say. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
One thing I’ve learned though is that the little one follows the older one most of the time so if I can get her to stay out of the kitchen when I’m busy, he’ll usually stay where she goes. I’m thankful to have such a helpful little girl. She really looks out for her little brother. =)
My kids love pretzels. I’m pretty excited for my daughter to get home because I know she’ll be so excited to see a big, soft pretzel waiting for her. I’m positive her dip of choice will be cheese. I prefer cream cheese, which she likes too, but I’m certain she’ll prefer some time type of nacho cheese.
Ingredients (makes 4):
- 1 packet dry, active yeast
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- coarse sea salt to top pretzels
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (and some for counter-top kneading)
- 3 1/2 cup bread flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill a big pot with 9 cups of water and 2/3 cup of baking soda and bring to a boil. Beat egg in separate container and set aside. In a medium bowl, add warm water and yeast and stir. Add salt, sugar and stir again. Add cup of all-purpose flour and stir to combine. Next add bread flour, one cup at a time, kneading into mixture (this will be sticky). Continue to add additional sprinkles of flour over dough as you stir it until it’s no longer sticky to touch. Move dough to clean, floured surface and knead. Continue adding sprinkles of flour to reduce stickiness to make dough handling easier. Shape dough into ball and cut dough into 3-5 sections, depending on how large or small you want your pretzels. Take each section and use the palms of you hands to roll section out into a long rope that is even in diameter lengthwise. Take ends of dough rope and lift upward on surface to create heart-shape, then wrap the ends around each other 2-3 times, pulling downward and lay pretzel dough ends atop bottom of pretzel ring. In other words, create the traditional pretzel shape with this dough. Drop dough pretzel (one at a time) into pot of boiling water/baking soda pot and cook for 3-5 minutes each. After quick boil, place pretzel on baking sheet and baste with egg on both sides (or dip into egg). Bake for 15-25 minutes or until cooked throughout and golden brown, depending on pretzel size it may take longer.
It’s finally Friday. Try your hand at making these soft pretzels if you find the time. Kids absolutely love them…of course I shook off some of that sea salt for the kids. I caked it on the dough before baking to make sure much of it would stick, but it’s pretty simple to get off once it’s baked if you find it’s too salty.
I’m not sure what I’ll have cooking up for the weekend but I’m looking forward to the family time. Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to cook, bake and eat life up! See you next time. =)