This blog is not just about eating local foods, but also making foods that you might otherwise buy. This way of cooking is not only economical, it's also healthier for you, as you are avoiding any weird chemicals and additives that go into prepared food. Instead, you know exactly what you're taking in, and that is a great feeling! Plus, there is nothing better than the smell of fresh baked bread, the taste of homemade pasta, or the zest of a homemade salad dressing.
This week, I made homemade pretzels. My husband and I love snacking on them, and they'd be a great addition to any Super Bowl party. The great thing about this recipe is you can make the pretzels look however you want. You can do the classic twist, the pretzel rod, or the pretzel bite, which is what I chose to do. They're easy to pop in your mouth and are a great one-dip-only option at parties.
After having my breadmaker do the work for me for about an hour and a half, I rolled out the dough and cut it into short sticks, brushed with a little beaten egg, and sprinkled with kosher salt. These little guys cooked up puffy and golden brown in just fifteen minutes. A first bite revealed a crunchy, salty outside with a soft, warm center; just the way a pretzel should be. I recommend serving them shortly after baking. If you don't, warm them in the oven for a few minutes before serving.
Try serving these with a spicy mustard or a homemade dip at your next party or just much on them whenever you like as a healthy snack. Enjoy!
Makes about 3 dozen
2 c whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
7/8 c water
2 tbsp coarse (Kosher) salt
1 egg, slightly beaten*
Measure all ingredients into your bread maker's bread pan, except the egg and coarse salt. Use the dough cycle on your bread maker and run the full cycle (mine is about 1 1/2 hours).
Once the dough is ready, remove the dough from the pan and place on a floured work surface. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Roll out pieces of the dough into ropes. Form into a pretzel twist, leave as sticks, or cut into shorter pieces (or opt for any other shape you can think of). Place on a greased cookie sheet (non-stick mat works great, too). Brush each with a little of the beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and puffy.
*I never use a whole beaten egg for one recipe, so I freeze the leftover egg in a small container. Whenever I make the pretzels, I take the container out of the fridge when I start the dough cycle, and it is thawed by the time I am ready to use it.