How rare that the kids have a day off from school and I haven't got any cakes scheduled. But what a blessing it has been! My house is much cleaner than it's been in ages AND the boys were able to have a friend over.
Since I wasn't in the kitchen for work, I decided this would be a good opportunity to be in the kitchen, with the kids, for FUN and try out a pretzel recipe I've been drooling over. You can find the recipe HERE. It's a Bavarian Soft Pretzel recipe with rave reviews. (my favorite kind of recipe)
Here's a photo journal of our Pretzel Day Project.
First I assembled all the ingredients.
Then made the slurry of flour, sugar, yeast, and water. Once those little bubbles started appearing, I knew we were good to go.
So I added the salt and the rest of the flour.
Then threw it in my Kitchen Aid and let it go to town for several minutes. If it got too sticky, I'd just add a little flour.
Then I pulled it out of the mixer and formed a ball of sorts so I could divide the dough.
After I let it rest a few minutes, I started diving the dough out in equal portions. I sliced it lengthwise down the center and then got about 6 pieces from each strip.
Because I doubled my recipe, we were able to get 13 balls of dough. Which worked out great because the kids kept dropping pieces so I had that extra ball to divide up and pass around. We each got 3 balls of dough to use as we pleased.
The three little goobers hard at work.
Don't they look happy?
After we finished shaping all the pretzels, it was time to put them in a Baking Soda Bath. This is the step that gives pretzels their golden brown color. Skip it and the finish on your pretzels will resemble a loaf of bread.
After boiling the pretzels, we sprinkled them with a little sea salt.
Three very proud looking boys. Well except for my youngest. I'm not sure what expression that is, but it gave me a stitch in my side from laughing so hard. He's gonna kill me when he see's this. OOPS!
Here's the pretzel staff. They are very pleased with the outcome. Took me a few tries to get a good picture. They kept eating holes in the pretzel display.
And here's a close up of one of the braided pretzels we made. I'm a big fan of the knot of the pretzel. It's always been my favorite part of a soft pretzel. So the braids are perfect for me because they are pretty much a giant knot. As if I needed the carbs...
If you've ever had pretzels stuffed with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, or other goodies, you know how YUMMY they can be. I decided I wanted to try a version that had a quirky family favorite inside; Cream Cheese and Green Olives. (don't knock it till you've tried it!) YUMMY!!!! It turned out DELICIOUS. Will most definitely do that again!
Made a top and a bottom, spooned a little mix on the bottom piece, then inched down the edges. After I pinched the edges down, I used the cookie cutter again to reclaim the pumpkin shape.
Oh yes!!! Warm cream cheesy goodness with just the right amount of saltiness. MORE PLEASE!
And the inside of the stuffed pretzel. I know... you don't even like olives, but it looks good doesn't it!
I've never been accused of being neat while I bake or decorate. This is what my cooktop looked like after 20 minutes of dipping pretzels in a baking soda bath. Thankfully, baking soda is a great cleaner, so now it sparkles. ha ha