Make it work

Maysoon + Jenin – a double stroller = Home all the time.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on a deserted island. Whatever I have in the house is all I got. No more going out “real quick.” Since I’ve had the baby I can guarantee that my spending has dropped by 70%. Sorry Target. It’s just truly not worth the hassle to leave the house. By hassle I mean: Feed girls until full, dress girls, dress self, feed baby again, change Jenin’s shirt, iron scarf, change Maysoon’s diaper, pour Jenin milk, wipe up spilled milk, change pants that have milk on them, throw load of laundry in washer, change Maysoon’s diaper, pick up toys through out the house, feed Maysoon, put goldfish crackers in a bag for Jenin, find Princess lunch bag to put gold fish in, can’t find lunch bag, vacuum goldfish off of carpet due to tantrum, wait for time out to be over, decide what to make for dinner and defrost meat, look for cell phone… Oh, forget it.

See, it’s not worth it.

Well the other day I was craving a soft pretzel. I knew that since I wasn’t going to get one, I’d just head over to foodgawker and well, gawk. Some words stood out: easy, under an hour, stand mixer. Ok I’ll bite. What do I have to lose?
Check out that little guy. That one was too cute. That size is perfect for a party. Imagine a bunch of those with different flavorings and dips. I can’t wait to try that.

Soft pretzels {adapted from Alton Brown via Food Network}

Ingredients:
For the dough:

1½ cups warm water (110-115° F)

1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
22 oz. all-purpose flour (about 4½ cups)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl

For finishing:
Cooking spray

10 cups water

2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp. water

Pretzel (or kosher) salt

Directions:

To make the dough, combine the water, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to dissolve the yeast. Add in the flour and melted butter and mix just until the dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed until the dough is smooth and clears the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly greased with vegetable oil, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, about 50-55 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bring the water and baking soda to a boil in a large saucepan or stockpot. In the meantime, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll a segment out into a 24-inch long rope. Make a U-shape with the rope and holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and onto the bottom of the U-shape in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 or 2 at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove from the water with a slotted skimmer and return to the baking sheet. Once all the pretzels have been boiled, brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake in the preheated oven until dark golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

So I’ve made these three different times within the past week. A few tips:

First time: I followed the recipe exactly. Instead of making 8 pretzels, I made 10 or 12. I would recommend making 16. As 8 (or 10/12) they were too thick. My personal preference would have been a bit thinner.

Second time: I took a cue from The Purple Foodie and tried a sweet cinnamon and sugar version. This time I used 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in the dough. For the boiling water I used only 1/3 a cup of baking soda and boiled them for 5-20 seconds. Not 30. I brushed them with butter afterwards and immediately sprinkled cinnamon and sugar (white and brown) on top. This time I divided the dough into 16 balls. These came out perfect. They were soft, sweet, just the right size.

Third time: I doubled the recipe in two separate batches. I ended up boiling them too long and I guess I boiled too many for the 10 cups of water. The pretzels had a bit of a baking soda taste to them. I now know to boil them less time when making the sweet version. I think I might add more sugar and some cinnamon to the dough.

All three times I never put parchment paper on my trays. I totally missed that step. Now I have phantom pretzels on all of my trays. Oops.

The moral of the story: It took me less time to make these pretzels (including rise time!) than it would have to have gotten the girls ready, drive to the mall, park, take out stroller, put Jenin in, put on Bjorn, put Maysoon in, walk to pretzel shop, stand in line, pay, back to the car, take out Maysoon, take off Bjorn, take out Jenin, fold up stroller, get in car, drive home, take out Jenin, take out Maysoon… See where I’m going with this?

Just go make them.

1 Comment

  • Iman says:

    First paragraph, HELLA funny!!!
    Rest of post, I hate you!!!
    I wish I had a scratch and sniff screen.

Comments are closed.