Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Soft Pretzels ......and more of the cat

It's only Wednesday but I feel as though the week is done...and it's definitely not. I had 2 midterms (Mon, Tues) this week and I have a simulations lab on Friday...not excited.
I am taking today off though because Murray needs to go to the vet and also because I don't feel so great. He's got his appt at 2 and the poor little fella's gotta go get his shots. There was also a little bit of blood in his litter box doings (poop) so I want to make sure there's nothing serious causing it. Google search alerted me to the fact that a lot of kittens get parasites which can be the main cause of blood in stool. Fingers crossed it's something non-serious and non-expensive......

Here's Murray enjoying the ski cross - he's a big fan of the winter olympics apparently.
And here he is enjoying John's glass of water.

Gosh, I love that little kitten.

So this morning on Martha she made soft pretzels and I thought, "hey, I LOVE pretzels especially the really salty ones with the mustard dip or the cheese dip" so I decided to find the recipe and perhaps attempt to make them! I don't have rapid-rise yeast though and I doubt Murray wants to be toted to the grocery store in his cat carrier after the vet.....unless the shots make him sleepy.....hmmm.....

Soft Pretzels

Photo courtesy of

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups warm water, yeast, and 1/2 cup brown sugar; let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together 6 1/2 cups flour and 4 tbsp coarse salt using your hands. Add 1/2 cup butter (cut into small peices) and continue to mix with your hands until mixture is crumbly. Add yeast mixture and, using your hands, mix until a shaggy dough is formed and water is absorbed.
  3. Using the dough hook attachment, mix dough on medium speed until dough is tight, elastic, and smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator; let chill at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  5. Roll dough out into a 14-by-12-inch rectangle. Cut dough into one dozen 12-inch-long strips, each about 1-inch wide. Transfer to a large baking sheet and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Transfer to refrigerator and let chill for 15 minutes.
  6. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out each piece into a 30- to 33-inch-long rope (about 3/4-inch thick), starting from the center and working toward the ends. Make a "U" shape with the rope and cross the ends over, pinching at the bottom of the "U" to form a pretzel. Return to baking sheet and repeat process with remaining dough.
  7. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a large saucepan, combine 8 cups water, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup beer (pale ale is best), and 1/4 cup brown sugar; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer pretzels, one at a time, until pretzel floats, about 30 seconds; transfer to prepared baking sheet using a perforated spatula. Don't be alarmed when the pretzels look droppy - they're supposed to. They aren;t supposed to fry in this pot. Repeat process with remaining pretzels.
  8. Sprinkle pretzels with pretzel salt; transfer to oven and bake for 5 minutes. Rotate baking sheet and continue baking until pretzels turn a chestnut brown color, 4 to 6 minutes more. Remove from baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm with butter or mustard.

.....or cheese dip.

These don't look too difficult to make. If I can get my hands on some rapid-rise yeast I'll make 'em. In the meantime I'm going to get some school work done and then take ol' Murr-man to the vet!

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