I've been buying quite a few of them at the mall. Pretzels are easy to make so I lugged out the old Zoji, dumped in the ingredients and pressed a button. I started off shaping them and decided pretzel nuggets were perfectly tasty and required very little skill and effort. I even made cinnamon-sugar and sprinkled it over one of the pretzels. The other advantage to eating a mall pretzel at home is washing them down with frozen pina coladas straight from the old Margaritaville machine.
The recipe below was adapted from Food Network and simplified using the dough cycle of a bread machine.
1 cup milk (I never have whole milk at home so I always make my own using 3/4 cup 2% milk plus 1/4 cup half and half)
2 1/4 teaspoons SAF instant yeast
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
Rest of ingredients:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
coarse sea salt
2 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda
1. Add all ingredients to bread machine and select the dough cycle. The dough cycle of my Zojirushi bread machine preheats ingredients to temp before kneading and proofing so softening or melting butter is usually not required. I think the Zoji does a great job but it's not perfect. I usually help it along during the cycle to make sure all the ingredients get evenly mixed.
2. At the end of the cycle, pour dough out onto a floured surface, forming an even mound. Cover the dough with a wet towel and let the dough relax approximately 15 minutes.
3. Cut down into six even pieces. Using your palms, roll each piece into a long rope. If you want your pretzels to resemble the pretzels from Auntie Anne's or Wetzel Pretzels, you will have to roll your dough very long and thin because after shaping, the dough will retract and shrink back a bit. The shaping part doesn't have to be perfect.
4. Mix water and baking soda in a bowl. The size and shape of bowl you will need depends on how you decide to shape your pretzels. Gently dip each pretzel in baking soda solution and place on lined baking sheet. You will want to line your baking sheet. Trust me. Either a silpat or parchment paper work. Sprinkle each pretzel with coarse sea salt. Bake in preheated 450 degree oven for approximately 10-15 minutes.
5. Transfer pretzels to wire rack and brush with melted butter. Dunk or sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar if you are feeling a little adventurous. I am pretty boring and pretty my pretzels with just butter or cinnamon-sugar. I never order the "gourmet" pretzels covered with fancy cheese, pepperoni, or crunchies. I also always decline the dips.
This recipe produces a soft mall-style pretzel. It uses a baking soda bath rather than a lye bath so the pretzels it will be very light in color. It is best eaten the same day. If you're looking for a movie theater or ball park pretzels, buy a box of frozen pretzels and reheat them. They come in a black box with a picture of a pretzel on it.
I just downloaded photos from my phone. Below are random photos. Some are recent. Some are not. Some are photos of food and some are just random.
That's a salad. There's spring mix under the mangos, apples, roasted tricolor fingerling potatoes, medjool dates, feta, and my own glazed walnuts. I made it to take over to my department holiday dinner.
Hiking at Red Rocks Canyon.
I wanted to make a gingerbread house. I took a picture instead.
Boyz II Men.
Another Vegas trip. This time we stayed at a different hotel. The Encore gets a thumbs up.
Centerpiece at our company Christmas lunch.
Breakfast in Cabo. That's fresh squeezed OJ.
Christmas Eve dinner on the beach. That's a Princess cruise ship in the Sea of Cortez.
Divorce Beach on the Pacific Ocean side. The waves are pretty rough and very dangerous for even the most experienced swimmers. I turned around for just a second and was knocked down. Fortunately I was not pulled out into the ocean.
Lover's Beach is in the background. Lover's Beach is safe for swimming.
I chose to climb up the rocks because I thought it would look cool.
I had to find a way back down. I jumped and hoped for the best.
Cabo Beach Club on a small stretch of swimmable stretch of Medano Beach.
Menorah in the Marina district.
Right next to the menorah was this sign. I did enough climbing on the beach and did not attempt climbing into the "C" like other tourists.
This taco shop was recommended by several people and was our original destination our first night in Cabo but we took a wrong turn and ended up at a restaurant we would rather forget about.
I was so full from eating, I barely managed to finish my two tacos.
My shrimp ceviche tostada Las Tres Islas. I also have crab and flan.
We've been getting quite a bit of rain in San Diego. We took a drive up to Laguna because we miss snow. It does snow in San Diego County. I couldn't find my snow boots. Uggs are usually my first choice for snow but it was either my really old Uggs, old Uggs, new Uggs, Fryes, or heeled boots. Since the decision to drive up to see snow was not planned, I put on my really old Uggs. My toes got a little wet even though they were treated with a water repellent spray. I didn't pick the best pants either. They are made from recycled plastic water bottles but were not very warm. I thought about putting on snowboarding pants but felt a tad silly.