I could feel it in the air for sure now, it’s officially fall. Actually, I felt it in the air the night before. That’s right, in the middle of the night I found myself frantically searching for a blanket as the chilly air crept its way through the wide-open window in my bedroom. Huh, that soon? It’s just as if autumn came and chased summer away with a vengeance. That is just so cruel!
Now as cruel as it may seem, I do kind of like this new change in the air. That chilly breeze mixed in with a little warmth leftover from summer. I think I’ve made it clear that summer is my favorite season so what I’m about to admit might seem a little strange. I’m actually finding myself fully welcoming this seasonal change.
Perhaps it’s because at this moment in my life I feel more than ever a need to start over. Don’t we all at one point feel like doing that? Well, this new season is that perfect opportunity to start over and hit refresh. Like the F5 button on my laptop’s keyboard, I’m letting this new season be the moment for a fresh new start. It’s time to let a new chapter begin!
You know what I like most about fall? All the pretty colors on the leaves. Orange, yellow, and red — it’s so pretty how the colors on the tree’s leaves change. With that said, I’ve always had this dream to visit New York precisely at this time of the year; autumn in New York. That was a nice movie too, by the way.
Anyway, I can’t afford to make that dream a reality just yet. So I’m visiting New York via the very own comfort of my home — more specifically in the kitchen. I decided to bake my own soft pretzels! Soft pretzels are available just about everywhere you go. You’ll find them at the mall, the movie theater, and amusement parks. But it’s one of those things I find myself associating most often with the busy streets of New York. Though I’m not speaking from experience, it’s just my wild imagination. Or I may have seen too many cop and detective dramas on TV. And they eat a lot…!
Anyway, did I ever think I could make pretzels at home? Nope. Were they easy? Much easier than I thought. Really. The only tricky part was shaping them. I should have totally consulted a YouTube video because there’s tons of them but as always, I thought I had it totally under control. “Oh yeah, piece of cake…” I mean, I’ve seen this done plenty of times. But then when the moment came for me to shape them… well, I may have forgotten to twist the two ends together before folding them downwards.
But who’s complaining? These were so unbelievably good. They’re crisp and buttery and the wonderful aromas coming from the oven are priceless! I skipped the salt on half of them and topped them with poppy seeds and a little flaxseed meal. They’re actually OK without salt (I always order them like that). And they’re so seriously good, their poor shape is totally forgiving. I mean, perfectly shaped pretzels don’t matter too much. I mean before you know it the pretzel is torn apart and halfway eaten anyway!
Dipped in honey mustard… be prepared to be blown away!
Hot Buttered Poppy Seed Pretzels
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
- 3/8 Cup plus 1T or up to 1/2 Cup warm water
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- poppy seeds, flaxseed meal, coarse sea salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoon butter (melted)
Very slightly adapted recipe from: King Arthur Flour
|Place ingredients into a bowl, stir until well combined. Knead for 5 minutes, adding more water (1 tablespoon at a time) until dough is smooth, soft, and slack. Flour the dough, place in ziploc bag, and allow to rest for 30 minutes.|
|Prepare topping: Combine boiling water with baking soda. Stir until baking soda dissolves. Pour onto a 9x9 baking pan or a similar pan. Set aside to cool.|
|Preheat oven to 475F. Spray or lightly grease a baking sheet with oil. Transfer dough onto this sheet. Divide into 4 equal pieces (70 grams or 2.5 ounces each). Allow to rest uncovered for 5 minutes.|
|Roll each piece of dough into a long thin rope (28" - 30" long) and twist into a pretzel.|
|Working with 2 pretzels at a time place in baking soda water mixture, spooning water over the tops. Leave in water for 2 minutes before placing on a lightly greased baking sheet.|
|Transfer to baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, poppy seeds, and flaxseed meal. Allow to rest here for an additional 10 minutes, uncovered.|
|Bake 8-9 minutes or until golden brown.|
|Remove from oven and brush thoroughly with melted butter. Brush pretzels until butter is all used up. Serve warm or reheat in the oven!|