holy sh!t, I actually made pretzels!May 3, 2010
It was harder than i thought to choose the initial recipe for handheld month. My first option was put aside once I realized it was an overnight process, and I just didn’t have the patience for that. My second option was also shunned once I realized it required ingredients I didn’t have, and I was trapped at home without a car (we won’t tell that story here, I’ll just say that my day didn’t start according to plan). Then the distraction kicked in. I was supposed to be doing some kind of ‘important handheld research’, but I kept peeking at King Arthur’s list of their 50 top-rated recipes. Ooooo, shiny!!! I’ve made several of these recipes, and would agree that they’re keepers. Problem is, I kept getting sucked into all of the ones I hadn’t made yet. And then, poking through the list, I saw it. The solution to my handheld dilemma and the justification for my distraction!
Hot Buttered Pretzels. Yum. Mrslovey’s been after me to try making pretzels for a while. In fact, I think they may have been the ulterior motive behind her suggestion of handheld month, when I wasn’t sure what I wanted to tackle next. So needless to say, she was pleased as punch when I realized I could make them with ingredients on hand, in a relatively short amount of time. I followed the manual/mixer method listed in the recipe, the only thing I did different was to cook one pan at a time, due to having one of my oven racks in permanent use for the most awesome baking stone ever (thank you for sharing that secret with me, K!). Whoops, see? Got distracted again there! Anyway. While none of the steps are overly complicated, there did seem to be a lot going on, so I’d strongly recommend having everything you need laid out and ready to go before you start. If nothing else your hands will be oily and doughy, and you won’t really want to touch too many things with them. The pretzels came out beautifully. The first batch was a little pale and splotchy (see note in recipe about fully dissolving your baking powder, and heed it), but the second batch was, as they say, GBD – golden brown and delicious. As you may be able to tell from the pictures, I got a little excited with the salt, so we ended up brushing a little bit off when we ate them, but over all I’m very pleased with the results. Served warm with a little dish of mustard (maple horseradish in this case), they were a delightful evening treat on a day that had started out poorly.