Thursday, November 14, 2013

Presenting Pretzels!

Hello, cooking world! First of all, whoever said married life was boring was lying. I feel like the whirlwind from the wedding is just now (almost two months later) starting to die down. I’ve been trying to keep the blog breathing through my comics page updates but now that my life is more organized and I have located my camera’s memory card/been able to take pics of my latest kitchen creations, the real updates can resume.

Food. Yum. Food posts. It is really all about food so, let’s get into it.

The number one thing Esquire and I missed most whilst on wedding diet from hell was pretzels. Followed shortly by donuts and pizza. However, fresh baked pretzels, Aunt Annie’s style, seemed to be on all appetizer menus we went to, every mall we went to, each gas station oasis… and for some reason, pretzels always seem to hit the craving button!

Which, I guess makes sense. Who doesn’t love pretzels? Buttery with that lovely browned crisp outside and doughy middle… bliss. Add some form of mustard or cheese dip and you have pure ecstasy.  Once I got back in the kitchen, this was the first thing on the agenda.

I found this recipe on a really nifty blog that promised copy cat Aunt Annie pretzels. While they take a bit of time, they are definitely well worth it.  Everything about them is exactly as promised. Delectable, buttery, flakey on the outside, chewy on the inside, Aunt Annie’s like pretzels.

I didn’t roll mine quite as thin as she was able to (pretty convinced she is a food-wizard) but even a little bit fatter, they hit the pretzel spot. Fresh from the oven too… they are something to experience.

Esquire and I decided to do a cheese/mustard dip tasting with our batch of pretzely goodness. Below you can find the pretzel recipe... and tonight you can expect a post with our top three cheeses, ranked along with our choices, ratings, and links to buy your own. Plenty to look forward to! 

Auntie Anne's Pretzels: Copycat Recipe
Makes 12 from Yammie’s Noshery

2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons fine salt

1/3 cup baking soda
3 cups warm water
Coarse salt
 4 tablespoons butter, melted in a shallow dish

Warm your milk up in microwave/stove. Not too hot or you’ll murder the yeast! Warm but not too hot that you can’t comfortably keep your finger in it. Stir in the yeast and let it sit for 3 minutes. Add the butter and sugar. Add the flour about 1 cup at a time and then add the fine salt. Kneed for about 10 minutes. Put it in a greased bowl and cover with greased cling wrap. Let rise for 1 hour in a moist, warm place until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 450ยบ. Punch down dough and divide into 12 lumps. Roll them all out as thin as you can. Combine the warm water and baking soda in a wide bowl. Form the dough into pretzel shapes or bites, then dip your creations in the baking soda water. Place on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for about 7-11 minutes or until browned. Brush each with melted butter while hot.

Boom! Pretzels.

Look for our post on the perfect cheese and mustard accompaniments tonight! 
Love you all :)

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