I’ve had an uncontrollable urge to make pretzels lately. Uncontrollable, I say! I hate buying those enormous Auntie Annie’s pretzels, because the employees always seem surly and the pretzels are greasy. Surly greasiness doesn’t make for a fun pretzel-eating experience, plus why would you NOT want to make pretzels?
I used this recipe from All Recipes, mainly because All Recipes always comes up high in the Google search results, but also because I spied so many stars next to it, and stars= awesome.
Note: for this recipe I subbed about half the amount of white whole wheat flour for the regular flour.
The very greatest part of bread-making is when you add the water to the yeast/sugar mix and stare at it. I used to get terrified that the yeast wouldn’t react in my recipes, but now I’m as cool as a cucumber about it and wait around all smug and shit for the mixture to get all bubbly-creamy.
Creamy is a disgusting word, and I’m sorry if I offended you.
The second best part of bread-making is when you knead the dough, because then you don’t have to feel guilty about skipping the gym that day. Especially if you exaggerate your kneading movements. Push your entire body into the dough, squeeze your buttocks together, take a deep breath, and pull your hands back to heart center.
Then you let it rise in an oily bowl, and if you have a 4 year old he will think you are magic, so what’s not to like?
Use your best math skills to tear the dough into 12 pieces.
Use your best playdough skills and roll each ball into a rope. You now have a very difficult decision to make. You can either, A. Twist your snake into a pretzel (euphemism intended) or B. Embrace the circle. I prefer the circle since veritably everything I do is symbolic.
Your next step is what makes a pretzel a pretzel, because you dip it on into a baking soda bath. Drown it like you would a nasty spider you spot in the bathroom but don’t want to squish so you don’t feel it snap but you scoop it up with a huge toilet paper wad and whip it into the toilet.
Then just make a decision about salt or something far more glamorous like sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds don’t stick too well. Oh well.
Here’s your time to shine. Tell me what to call these stupid things. I’m sure you can come up with something better than I did, so do it.
Still with me? I have a special prize for you for making it to the end of this post. Do you want to see what yeast looks like all close-up with an iPhone macro lens? Let out a WHOOP! Here it is: