Monday, February 28, 2011

Chewy Soft Pretzels

I have been trying to put a little more effort into Sunday dinners. Last night I wanted to make some bread so I was looking at one of my favorite cooking blogs Mel's Kitchen Cafe. There is a recipe there for Soft Chewy Pretzels. We were eating them and Lainey pipes up "Mom can we make every Wednesday Pretzel day?" We decided that Fridays might be better. They were super easy and you can be eating them in less than 1 hour!! I definitely recommend you try these!! Next time around I think I will try some cinnamon ones??

*Makes 8 pretzels

2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup (8 ounces) very warm water

1/2 cup (4 ounces) warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Coarse salt (optional)
3 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix to just combine. Add the water and mix well, adding more flour, as needed, a bit at a time to form a soft, smooth dough that clears the sides and bottom of the bowl. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, until it is soft, smooth and quite slack. The goal is to get a really soft dough that isn’t overly sticky. Lightly flour the dough and place it in a plastic bag; close the bag, leaving room for the dough to expand, and let it rest for 30 minutes or up to 60 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 500°F. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into eight equal pieces (about 70g, or 2 1/2 ounces, each). Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. While the dough is resting, combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the baking soda, and place it in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Make sure the baking soda is thoroughly dissolved; if it isn’t, it will make your pretzels splotchy. Sometimes I have a hard time getting the baking soda completely dissolved, so I just lightly stir up the mixture right before adding each pretzel.

Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope (anywhere from 14 to 22 inches long), and twist each rope into a pretzel. Dip each pretzel in the baking soda wash (this will give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color), and place them on the baking sheets. Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Bake the pretzels for 7 to 9 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Bake one sheet at a time – it won’t hurt the other pretzels to chill out for a little longer.

Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter. Keep brushing the butter on until you’ve used it all up; it may seem like a lot, but that’s what gives these pretzels their ethereal taste. Eat the pretzels warm, or reheat them in an oven or microwave.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour

Pull Aparts

So this year we have church at 9:00 am after 5 years of 11 or 1. This has been a big adjustment at our house!! Growing up this was a staple Sunday morning breakfast and with church at 9 again I have made this a couple of times.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cube butter or margarine
2tsp cinnamon (I might actually use more than this, we love cinnamon and I dont exactly measure it)
2-3 tbsp butterscotch instant pudding (optional)
Frozen roll doughs.

grease a 9x13 pan. Arrange your rolls in there I usually do 12-15. Melt your butter and mix with sugar and cinnamon. Pour over your rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and let them raise overnight. I set the time bake on my oven so that it is hot when I get up so I can put them right in. Bake according to the directions on roll package. When they baked through put a cookie sheet on top and flip them over. The gooey stuff will drizzle down on top. It is kinda like hot fresh cinnamon rolls without all the work. We eat with fruit and then it is off to church.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Nay Nay

I cant remember the log in to my family blog so I am posting a birthday shout out here!!

Happy Birthday to the most wonderful amazing 7 year old in the whole universe. You changed our whole world for the better and we love you so much!! Happy Birthday Lainey!!!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tee-Shirt Refashion

I bought this tee shirt on clearance for 1.74 at Old Navy. I got it home and it was too big, and I was to lazy to take it back, so it sat in my drawer for a few months. I saw some clothing refashions on Tatertots and Jello. I started thinking hmmm...... I have this shirt sitting in my drawer it would be the perfect tester project.

I started thinking what I could use, when I remembered this ribbon I just bought at Hobby Lobby for 2.00. So then I needed to decide how I was going to attach it/do with it. I just got my spring catalog for Down East Basics. I saw this and thought this is perfect!!! So here is what I did.

I cut a length of ribbon and stitched down the center using a long stitch.

At the end of the ribbon I pulled one thread to gather the ribbon.

Then I pinned it to the shirt.
Stitching it down was a little tricky, I just tried to follow the path I had laid as close as I could.

Then I snipped all hanging threads. I then took in the sides to make it fit better.
Don't judge my fat rolls :) They keep me warm in the winter.....