Snow Days. When my four, now grown children, were kids, and a school day was traded for a snow day, of laughter, wet floors, and rosy cheeks, they always looked forward to special treats from the kitchen. Problem was, I cooked homemade everything every day any way. So, what could I prepare that would feel… different?
I was a single mom, with the good fortune to have a beauty salon in my home so that I could also be the bread winner, stay at home mom, cook and law enforcer!
Pretzels. Yes! Pretzels would feel special!
It wasn’t that I was a food snob back then, and had to cook everything from scratch. It was merely economics. A five-pound bag of flour would cost less than half the price for a large bag of pretzels, and could make a gazillion pretzels.
And so, today, while I can laugh, look, relax and enjoy the rosy cheeks, and wet floors from my grandchildren, through face-time, or pictures, I still feel compelled to make something special on Snow Days. And, who knows, if I can get out of my own driveway, and country road, I will take the pretzels to share, that is if I don’t eat them all first!
Quick, Easy, and Delicious!
Yields: About 2 dozen
- Whole milk – 1 cup
- Active yeast – 2 teaspoons
- Sugar – 1 tablespoon
- Flour – 2 ½ cups
- Salt – 1 teaspoon fine salt
- Coarse salt – to sprinkle on top
- Butter – 2 to 3 tablespoons butter, melted, to brush on top after baking
- Baking soda – ½ cup mixed with ¾ cup water, to brush on top before baking
Preheat oven to 425
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar with ½ cup of water. Let sit 5 minutes. Add milk, fine salt and a little flour at a time, mixing until the dough begins to come together. Time to get your hands dirty. Continue adding a little flour while you press and knead the dough, until the dough no longer feels sticky. In a clean, and slightly oiled bowl, place the dough. Cover. Let sit in a warm place until the dough rises and doubles in size. About an hour.
Punch down the dough. Roll out as many 12” strips of dough as you can get out of the batch. Shape into pretzel shapes, and set on parchment paper.
Mix the baking soda with water and brush across the tops of each pretzel, and sprinkle coarse salt across each.
Bake 10 – 15 minutes until golden. With melted butter, brush quickly across the tops when they are removed from the oven.
Perfect to enjoy with a salad or soup, dip in mustard, or, instead of coarse salt, brush with baking soda water when they are baked, brush with butter when they are finished, and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon across the tops for DESSERT!!