Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Twist and Shout Pretzels

Everyone has their food traditions that evolve into comfort food. When my son was in elementary school, his class made soft yeast pretzels. They have all of the elements of food fun.....creative and expressive shapes.......warm and comforting, yeasty aroma and taste.......and exercising something else besides the mouth (except when you shout in joy!). We never deviate from the tried and true recipe, except maybe with the addition of a little salt in the dough. Make the dough one day and let it rest. Then shape, let it rise, bake and enjoy the second day.

Twist and Shout Pretzels

3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 cups unsifted all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
coarse salt, for sprinkling on top
1/2 teaspoon salt

Day 1:
Pour warm water into a large mixing bowl, sprinkle in yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Gradually mix in flour until the dough forms a ball and sticks to the spoon as you stir. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight. Day 2: Take dough out of plastic bag and put on lightly floured surface. Divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a long thin rope and form into pretzel shape or any shape you desire. This is the fun part! Place on a greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until about double in size.

Brush with
the beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven
for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and place on wire rack to cool slightly before eating. You can dip into a favorite sauce or eat them right away, just the way they are.
Don't forget to shout with joy!

written and photographed by Diane

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