Another of Martha Stewart’s delicious recipes: soft pretzels. This was a bit trickier than making cookies. It was more involved as I had to wait for the yeast to rise multiple times plus the arduous task of kneading the dough.
From the get-go things were not looking good, I followed Martha’s instructions and not the yeast package instructions. When I returned to look at my mess, there were no bubbles as Martha had said there would be. Re-do. This time I followed the instructions but when I returned it had not risen much at all as the package said it would. I shrugged and hoped for the best.
The problem was that having followed the package instructions and not Martha’s I was now faced with 1/4 the amount of liquid called for in the recipe. A quarter cup of liquid combined with 3 cups of flour is a recipe for disaster. So I added in extra water (which was how she made the yeast mix) and crossed my fingers. After much mixing and adding in little bits of water I finally had a workable mound of dough.
The key word is workable. In the recipe it says to knead the dough for 5 minutes, which in actuality is a damn long time. It is no easy task. At least after that you get a break. You have to leave the dough to rise, which pretty much leaves you just enough time to clean up the mess you’ve already made and prep for the next step.
I am not quite sure how this happened, maybe I did not follow the measurements. But I somehow ended up only making 6 pretzels, not 12. Maybe mine are just giant? This is the most fun part of the recipe, rolling and stretching the dough into ropes and then wrapping it up into the requisite pretzel shape.
Here is where it got tricky again. You had to boil the pretzels in water with baking soda. As soon as I dropped in the pretzel the water foamed to the top, just threatening to pour down over the edge making a giant mess that much worse. Even messier was the fact that there was nowhere for me to leave the pretzels to dry before baking. So I did what I could, I wiped them down with paper towels and left them on a plate. My counter space was also starting to run out. When you boil the pretzels they expand and get all poofy.
From there it was just a sprinkle of salt and throw them in the oven for 15 minutes. And they turned out golden brown, soft and scrumptious. In addition: the whole apartment now smells like a bakery.
Up next: Martha Stewart takes a break and I take on a Joy of Cooking recipe instead.