Jumbo Soft Pretzels

Hello! When summer started, I honestly thought I would be able to fit a blog post in at least every other week. I could not have been more wrong! My summer job was more physically demanding than my job during the school year, with the addition of longer hours.

Another important occurrence that captured most of my attention this summer was house hunting; house hunting all the way across the country. I moved to Eastern Montana with my husband (from New York) on the promise that we would only live here a few months, it has been exactly 6 years. I have missed holidays, birthdays, funerals, and many Daytona 500 parties. After much waiting, I can finally say I am going back home.

We made 3 trips across the country (by car) from Montana to Pennsylvania. That is a total of 4,695 miles.  Our realtor showed us at least 15 houses and after weeks of discussion, we finally picked the one for us. While we wait for our closing day, we are still “hanging out” in Montana. My hubby is helping to train new employees to do his job and I am getting us ready to leave and binge watching a lot of Netflix shows.

Between moving, settling in, and job hunting, I may not be able to be consistent on my blog posts for a while, but my passion for this blog and its purpose has not subsided at all and I think about it all the time (mostly with the pain of guilt). I am looking forward to sharing our new adventures with you. We will be living so close to Pittsburgh, which has a very large vegan community that is spreading like wildfire, so please stay tuned!

I do have a fun recipe to share with you in this post. The kids will especially love this one.  For some reason I always associate this food with baseball games and I know it’s because I had my first one at a Yankees game when I was a kid and that is jumbo size soft pretzel.

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Jumbo Soft Pretzels

Makes 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 C of warm water
  • 1 Tbs of vegan butter, melted ( I recommend Earth Balance, every grocery store sells it these day)
  • 1 tsp of raw sugar
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 3 cups of flour

Baking soda mixture:

  • 4 Tbs baking soda
  • 2 C of water

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475º
  2. Coat one – two baking sheets in non-stick spray or cover them with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl add the yeast and warm water. Mix until the yeast becomes frothy. You can hand whisk or use your mixer.
  4. Once the mixture is frothy add the sugar, salt and melted butter. Stir in the flour slowly until the dough forms and is no longer sticky. Next, knead the dough with your hands for about five minutes, or until smooth and pliable. Shape the dough into a ball and let sit for 15 – 20 minutes.
  5. Baking soda mixture: In a sauce pot, add the water and baking soda. Boil the mixture until most of the baking soda dissolves. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Once the mixture is at a lukewarm temperature pour it into a 9×13 baking dish.
  6. On a large clean surface, take your dough out of the bowl. Flatten the ball slightly and then cut into 4 even sections.
  7. Set aside three of the sections. Begin rolling one section into a rope. To make a thick jumbo size pretzel, the dough rope should be about 40 inches long. Any shorter and you’ll end up with a small fat pretzel. Any longer and the dough will get too thin and burn in the oven.
  8. Once you have your rope rolled out, shape the dough into a pretzel shape. There are helpful instructions on how to create this shape right on Google.
  9. Now carefully (because it is a little flimsy at this point) place the pretzel in the baking dish with the baking soda mixture. Let it sit for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, again carefully take the pretzel out of the baking soda mixture and place it on a prepared baking pan. You may have to reshape the pretzel. Repeat steps 7 – 9 to make the other pretzels.
  10. An extra option is to sprinkle them with some sea salt or Himalayan salt before placing them in the oven. I don’t like to do this because if I have leftovers that I store overnight, the salt dissolves and makes the texture of the pretzels bumpy.
  11. Bake the pretzels for 8 – 10 minutes. They should turn a golden brown.  Take them out of the oven and let cool.
  12. I found that these pretzels stay good for about 2 days and then start to get stale. Best enjoyed fresh out of the oven! I love to eat my soft pretzels with mustard. What is your favorite way to eat a soft pretzel?

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