While passing through Utah on our way to Idaho – we stopped by to see some old friends from our Milwaukee days. We gathered for a play date and my loving and ambitious friend Leslie thought ahead and made pretzel dough. So by the time we showed up to play and catch up – the kids were busy making pretzels. They may not have been the most beautiful pretzels. In fact, some weren’t considered pretzels at all – there were swords, balls, braids – the pretzel dough pretty much became play dough that we cooked. And as unappetizing as some of them looked, they were all delicious. I’m a sucker for just about any bread.
The kids took about 30 minutes to become reacquainted and then they were pretty much best friends that couldn’t stand to say goodbye to each other. There was beauty salon and nerf gun wars and cars outside on the patio. They played for hours. We laughed about how much our families have grown since our babysitting coop days years ago. Here’s a picture of our two families all grown up (another friend had already left with her four girls). We’ll continue to snap a picture like this every year!
And it seems as though every other year or so we’re introducing soon-to-be friends.
And because I really did love the pretzels, I snagged the recipe off the counter.
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons butter melted
2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir in flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise for one hour.
Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8 inch square pan. Line 6 baking sheets with parchment paper.
After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner. Twist into a pretzel shape, and dip into the baking soda solution. Place onto parchment covered baking sheets, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt or cinnamon sugar.