I love baking. I think I inherited the love from my grandmother (Nonny) and practiced from a young age thanks to my Godmother. When Nonny baked it was for one of two reasons: it was a holiday or she was worried about something. When I baked with my Godmother on the farm, it was because she was trying to keep me busy and out of trouble. I am eternally grateful to them both.
Today's challenge from Raw Spice Bar is a Pretzel. As I mentioned in my previous post, they sent me a Free Sample of their October spice blend and recipes (yes, I know it is now Nov 1). Their website is here.
I will admit I have never made home-made pretzels. I am very excited about this recipe.
The spice packet contained Caraway, Fennel & Anise Bread seasoning. The ingredients were items usually in my pantry like unbleached flour, egg, yeast, milk, baking soda. Unfortunately, the directions were somewhat incomplete. They never included the yeast in the mixing directions. I added it where I thought it should go but, they didn't rise as much as I would have liked. Another typo later in the directions, said to sprinkle remaining seasoning on top of pretzels before baking but never indicated to divide the seasoning from the beginning. Hmmm...to use 1/2, 3/4 or ?
I reserved about 1.5 teaspoons.
I made the dough easily and quickly. It turned out to be a nice texture, not to sticky. I divided into 8 pieces and proceeded to pretend I knew how to shape pretzels. There were no directions for this step either but, I've seen it done, right? I've stood in front of that cinnamon pretzel place in the mall. I think I grasp the general idea of how to make these. Needless to say, I figured it out.
Okay this picture looks a little bit like a ... yeah that's it - a tadpole!! What were you thinking?!
Anyway, moving on...
I then was instructed to let the shaped pretzels rise for 1 hour. In my crazy busy life, that translates to me putting them somewhere "safe" and totally forgetting them for 2 hours. My kids got off the bus, I started helping with homework and directing after-school snacks and then I started dinner... Oh, found the pretzels! I guess I better put them in the oven.
Another epic fail for me (okay not Epic but still). I forgot to add the egg wash before baking because I as flustered. I knew to do it, the directions actually did say it and I forgot (pouty face).
I threw a few pieces of cheese on one, the reserved Raw Spice Bar (c) seasoning on a couple others and salted the remaining pretzels and pieces. I will add here that I decided the whole pretzel might be big for my littlest child so with one of the portions, I created pretzel pieces. I was thinking nüggets but ended up with something else entirely.
So they didn't have the glossy finish but they tasted amazing!! I was surprised how easy it was to make home-made pretzels.
While creating this blog post, I realize that this sense of accomplishment (even with the mistakes) is exactly the same feeling that I want to bestow upon others. I want to be completely transparent with my nutrition advice from my adventures in the kitchen to getting my family to eat well. I want you to know that YOU can do it too!! And I'm doing the same stuff right along side you!
From Your RD,