The background to the pretzel impulse was a family trip to a gastropub. Hot pretzels with mustard or, god forbid, liquid cheese dip, proved popular. The yellow pretzel appliance implied that I could make delicious carby-twists at home. Then I got thinking. Surely the appliance would only cook the pretzel. There were little pretzel-shaped depressions in the non-stick base which would, presumably guide me to shape my dough but nowhere was there any dough extrusion equipment. I googled and my suspicions were confirmed - the one star reviews said "This is fine for people who like to make bread!"
"Well, hell yeah!" Father than act as a deterrent, I was now inspired. I like to make bread. I could make pretzels.
On return from the thrift store I found the family in their usual head-down-in-electronics mode and dragged Frost into the kitchen to make pretzels with me. We pulled up the first recipe and Frost read it out while I ran around the kitchen grabbing ingredients. Yes, don't ask me how we happened to have non-expired Active Dry Yeast and cows milk and barley malt syrup in the house at the same time. I have already spoken about miracles once in this post so I won't go there but it happened.
It turns out pretzels are a lot easier than bread. You throw the yeast into warm milk, add flour and sugar and stir, bang it about a bit and let it double in size. Then, bang it around a bit more, make 30 inch long worms in pretzel shapes, dip into boiling water with baking soda and malt in and bake for 12 minutes!
|The first pretzel worm being formed (30 inches is long!)|
|Frost forming his pretzel|
|Wren with the malt soda bath "It looks like erupting root beer" (don't know what that expression is on Wren's face)|
|The fattest pretzel. Others were better proportioned|
|Eating pretzels with mahjong|
- We had pretzels in 90 minutes
- Frost learned to knead dough
- Josh tapped into his long-unused expertise in dipping bagels in a malt-bath
- We used the Murray River Gourmet Salt Flakes we've had for ages.
- It was fun to make pretzels.
- It was fun to eat pretzels.
- The kitchen was a mess. Dough is basically glue.
- I ate 1.5 pretzels on a juice fast day.
- The family divided along the yellow mustard vs dijon mustard lines and as usual Josh was the only one on the yellow-mustard side BUT there was no smooth dijon mustard so our pretzels were, to an extent, unrequited.