DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WEIGHT I'M GAINING BECAUSE OF PINTEREST? SWEET MOSES, I'M EATING SO MUCH AWESOME STUFF THAT I'M NOW LARGE ENOUGH FOR MY OWN ZIP CODE. I HAVE SMALLER PRISCILLAS IN ORBIT AROUND ME.
I feel better now. I made some soft pretzels... they were awesome. I pinned this on Pinterest (CURSE YOU, PINTEREST!!) and I followed it pretty closely, except for the end. You need all sorts of ingredients:
See that egg? Forget it... that egg can go in tomorrow morning's breakfast. The original recipe was large enough to feed an entire town. Since I was the only one eating these that day, I needed to exhibit some self-control, so I halved the recipe. You'll need the following:
3/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 1/8 tsp active yeast
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
a smidge more kosher salt
1/2 stick butter, melted
Let's get to work, shall we?
Add your brown sugar to a mixing bowl.
Throw the yeast in there while you're at it. Melt your butter and add it to your measured warm water. If the butter is too hot, it will raise the temperature of the water, so you might take a little measurement to make sure it won't kill your yeast. The temperature should be a little warmer than your finger but not hot.
Use your dough hook to combine this all (or mix it by hand if that's how you roll). Once it's combined, let it sit in the bowl for about five minutes. The yeast won't bubble so don't feel like your recipe isn't turning out.
In another bowl, combine the kosher salt and flour.
Add it slowly to your mixer bowl, kneading as you go. Once it's combined, knead on medium speed for about four minutes or until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl. You can add more flour if it seems too wet, but add it in tiny increments.
Once that's done, grab a bowl and throw the vegetable oil in it.
Swirl the oil around until the bowl is coated. Take your dough out of the mixing bowl and shape it into a ball. Toss it in the bowl and roll it around so it gets covered in the oil. Cover it with saran wrap and put it in a warm spot for an hour or until it doubles in size.
It doubled. And then some.
Cut off chunks of the dough to roll into strips. My rolling surface wasn't very large, so I took golf ball-sized chunks and rolled them into strips.
I feel I should mention that it doesn't matter how they look, it's how they taste.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. While that's heating up, boil the water. When the oven is ready and the water is boiling, add the baking soda to the boiling water. Watch as science happens. Also, don't stand too close.
Drop the pretzels into the water and let them boil for about 30 seconds. Fish them out of the water with a slotted spoon and place onto a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle some more kosher salt on top of them.
Again, it's not about how they look.
Bake them for about 10 to 12 minutes. While they're baking, melt the rest of your butter. When they come out of the oven, brush the melted butter over the top of them.
BOOM. Pretzel sticks.
Once they've cooled for a minute or so, throw them on a plate. Add a little cheddar cheese sauce or cream cheese to the plate. Feel free to add both.
Eat 'em up. Enjoy them. Feel full and keep eating. Feel your pants cutting off circulation to your lower body and keep eating. Growl when someone tries to share them. Feel guilt about growling. Keep eating. Become sad when they're all gone.
Or, that could just be my experience.