Saturday, February 25, 2012

Food Twister.

When I was younger, I got toted around. A lot.

I know, it's pretty typical for the kid to get toted places. You know, when we have no say in things. The good ol' days for the parents.

I specifically remember getting toted to the mall when my mom wanted to shop for old lady clothes. I was always restless. I've never been able to really simmer down. I get bored easily.

So everytime we went to the mall, I ended up with either a slice of amazing pizza or an awesome soft pretzel. And you know what? The love of soft pretzels has never left me. Ever.

I prefer making them as pretzel nugs, but I just had to try the actual pretzel shape.

I suck at it, by the way.

Also, I reached a huge plateau in my bread baking. I totally bought a jar of yeast instead of using packets.

Auntie Ninja's (Typically) Pretzel Nugs

4 tsp. dry active yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/4 c. warm water (around 115-120 F if you use a thermometer)

5 c. flour, give or take
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1/2 c. baking soda, give or take
4 c. water, give or take

Salt for topping, if you so choose

In your 1 1/4 c. water, dissolve your yeast and 1 tsp. sugar.

You want some foam, dude. 

And this? This is good foamage I NEVER thought I'd get from yeast. Practice = Perfect.

While you're letting that foam up, mix your sugar, salt, and flour together until it's combined. Then add your oil and your foamy yeast mix.


This is too wet. You want it to pull all from the sides so the bowl looks almost clean and it forms a ball. Add more flour 1/4 c. at a time to get it to where you want it. If it's too dry, add water a tbsp. at a time.

Yeah, buddy!

Oil a bowl lightly. Put your dough ball into the bowl and spin it around to coat. Let it rise until it's doubled in size, about 1-2 hours depending on your method of letting it rise.

This is what I have to do to make shit rise. :(

Once it's risen, flip it onto a lightly floured surface.

Break it off into some even pieces. 12 or so should do it.

And now formation begins.

Start rolling snakes with your smaller pieces.

Make an eyepin twisty.

Fold over and attach the ends.

If your dough is too floured and doesn't want to stick, it helps to keep a small bowl of water near you. Dip your fingers into it as needed.

Continue all this until your dough is all formed.

I have a problem making uniform sizes. So shoot me.

In a big pot, boil your 4 c. water and mix your baking soda into it. Let it boil together.

One by one, drop your pretzels into the boiling water for about 5 seconds, then fish them out. This is pretty crucial to the "crust". Prior to using baking soda, the original pretzels were boiled in lye. Let's just say the baking soda mix is a safer choice, and it gives the brown crust and there's a subtle taste difference. Place them onto a greased baking sheet. Now's the time to sprinkle them with salt if you choose to.

Bake these at 450 for about 8-10 minutes, or until they're that perfect brown color.

These are a HUGE hit in the house. But, again, I typically do nugs. I just use a pizza cutter and instead of twisting the snake of dough, I cut it into pieces and throw them into the boiling baking soda water all at once, then drain, then put them on a baking sheet and bake. Either way, they're SUPER delicious and you won't have any complaints.

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