Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pretzels and allergies

I went to the allergist yesterday afternoon. I have been having trouble with new allergies, skin problems and my asthma so my family practitioner sent me to the allergist. After 49 pricks to the back, 15 min of waiting and no scratching, another 8 needle pricks under the top layer of skin on my arm, and another 15 min of waiting and no scratching I have found out that I am still allergic to all the things I have always know about. With the exception that I now have a slight allergic reaction to cats. It wasn't too bad of a reaction though because it didn't even irritate my back but it did on my arm. Great, I have a cat and I'm not getting rid of him. Oh well. The Dr. prescribed me a nasal spray and a pill to take daily. I use to be on this regimen but had to get off of it when I got pregnant. So here we go again. She also set up an appointment with a dermatologist, only they are booked through May!

In other news, Adam and I made homemade soft pretzels last night. I have been hanging on to these kids magazines that Martha Stewart put out a few years ago because I knew we would be having kids someday and these magazines had so many neat ideas! I took them out to look for craft ideas for my mom's group and came across a recipe for soft pretzels. Since we had all the ingredients in the house I thought it might be fun. Here is the recipe that we used:

1tsp. yeast
1 1/2 tsp. dark brown sugar
2 tsp. honey
1 1/2 cup warm water
4 cups bread flour
3 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 egg
pretzel salt
mixer with bread hook
baking sheet
parchment paper
wire skimmer or slotted spoon
pastry brush

1. Stir yeast, sugar, honey, and warm water in mixer bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 min. Mix flour and salt in bowl; slowly adding to yeast mixture. Knead on low until smooth, 8-10 min.
2. Put dough in a large bowl oiled with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise until doubled, about 45 min. Bring 4 qt. of water and the baking soda to a boil. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; coat with cooking spray. When dough is done rising, punch down.

3. Preheat oven to 425. Cut dough into 8-10 pieces. Working with one at a time (keep remaining dough covered with plastic), roll into 24 inch ropes.

4. Shape ropes into pretzels.

5. Place pretzels in the boiling water with wire skimmer; cook until they begin to set, 30-40 sec. Turn over; cook 30 sec. more and remove.

6. Transfer pretzels to the lined sheet. Beat egg in a small bowl; brush onto pretzels. Sprinkle with pretzel salt. Bake, rotating half way through, until golden brown, about 15-18 min.

I did change it a bit though. We used half whole wheat flour and then sprinkled them with kosher salt and flax seeds. They turned out very yummy! Today we are going to make them again using only all purpose flour and more kosher salt. To me they weren't salty enough, but that's because we don't have pretzel salt in the house.

They also suggest skipping the egg and salt and sprinkling with a cinnamon and sugar mixture. Mix 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/3 cup sugar. Right after taking them out of the oven, brush with 1/4 cup melted butter and sprinkle with mixture.


Janine said...

Those look delicious! I want to make them right now!

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