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I shamelessly stole this picture from my friend's Facebook page.

This post has actually been a long time in the making.  I first made pretzels with a group of jr high and high school girls in my church group several years ago.  One of the other counselors (of sorts) had an Auntie Anne’s pretzel making kit.  We decided it would be a good rainy day activity.  I’m not sure if it was actually raining the day we made pretzels.  Anyway, we made them, they turned out to be pretty good (at least, that’s how I remember it), and we didn’t do it again.  I saw the last of that group of kids off to college this year (tear).

Anyway, we got a new batch of kids and one of the younger ones was taking home ec as an elective and told me about how they made pretzels in class and how she wanted to do it again, because another student, or possibly the teacher, got to do all the interesting parts and she didn’t get to do much.  We didn’t have another kit, but pretzels are just another type of bread and my mom and I are both decent bakers.  I figured I could put something together where they could play with a yeast dough.

So, in May, enter this recipe.  You really do get pretzels that taste like they come from those pretzel stands (?) in the mall.  Pretty good.  The results of the time we made pretzels with the girls are up above.  We have some creative girls who aren’t satisfied with a normal pretzel shape.  The pile of poo pretzel in the upper right (it is a pile of poo, don’t believe what others may try and tell you) was courtesy of one of the counselors.  I’m pretty sure the girls were satisfied with them because we only had one pretzel left by the end of the night, which I brought home so my mom could try.  And then my brother ate all of it.

Since then, I’ve been meaning to make pretzels again, because I thought my mom would like to try one, and also I like baking.  I finally did this past weekend and my results were…decent.  You see, I did this fairly early in the morning after I dropping my car off for service.  I apparently didn’t have enough coffee and completely misread the ingredient list and I left out the high gluten bread flour.  You need gluten to make good pretzels…otherwise you have really mushy pretzels.  You would think I would have realized this when I was trying to figure out why the dough was so wet.  Not so!  I decided to carry through and bake it anyway, as I figured out what happened late in the game.  The result were some very nice looking pretzels, they smelled pretty nice too, but the texture was off.  Not really surprising.  They tasted pretty good though.  The favorite flavor was the garlic one.  I’ll have to try this again, partly to get comfortable with the recipe so I can start making changes, and partly because I had requests from work for pretzels.  But until then, you can enjoy some pictures of pretzels.  Btw, the pretzels had a rather off-putting texture the next day.

This one's a garlic salt pretzel




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