Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Is this thing on?

I know, it's been a long, long time. Let's get on with it, shall we?

Things that consume my life right now:

Kicking around the soccer ball with my big girl. She loves being on a team for the first time. This is my happy and excited Green Hornet. Soccer mom status realized.

Enjoying the green everywhere, even in my knitting. 

Playing trains, planes, and automobiles with my not so little boy.

Baking. Always baking! This time, soft pretzels, Auntie Anne's style. My boy looked at the mixer and said "Dough". My job here is done! These are slightly sweet, buttery, and tasted just like the mall staple. 

Auntie Anne's Copycat Pretzels

2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons fine salt

1/3 cup baking soda
3 cups warm water
Coarse salt
 8 tablespoons butter, melted in a shallow dish 

Warm up the milk in the microwave or on the stove for just about one and a half minutes. It should be about 110º.  Stir in the yeast and let it sit for about 3 minutes. Add the butter and sugar. Add the flour about 1 cup at a time and the add the fine salt. Knead for about 10 minutes with a stand mixer, or by hand. Put it in a greased bowl and cover with greased cling wrap. Let rise for 1 hour in a moist, warm place until doubled in size.

 Preheat the oven to 450º. Divide dough into 12 pieces.  Roll them all out as thin as you can. Combine the warm water and baking soda in a wide bowl. Form the dough into pretzel shapes, then dip in the baking soda water. Place on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for about 7-11 minutes or until browned. Brush melted butter over top of each pretzel. I actually just run a stick of butter over top of each butter and let a bit melt on contact. 

Enjoy one and then hand out to neighborhood kids so you don't eat them all. At least that's what I had to do!

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