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We’re coming back for you, Amish country! (And I made pretzels.)

July 5, 2011

We spent my birthday last year down in Intercourse, PA. And we loved it so much, we’ve decided to go back in August. We stayed at the Inn & Spa at Intercourse Village, and we’ll be staying there again.

It’s wonderful, relaxing, charming and smells like heaven. And there’s one thing the Amish make a bunch of: pretzels. We picked up some pretzel salt for $1 (a boatload of it, too), and I’d yet to make pretzels! I know, right? Michael was asking for them and I just didn’t seem to get to it.

Last Thursday, Michael had surgery on that ankle. Remember I mentioned that at the Bruins parade two weeks ago, we got him a cane? It now has a plate and eight screws in it. Really.

While playing nurse, I decided I’d give him a little reminder that soon we’d be in Amish country again, having fun. He’s been cooped up for days, poor man. He’s got 6 days of bedrest left and then we’ll see about getting those sutures out.

Until then, he has pretzels, at least. I’ll do anything to make him smile.

I saw the recipe on The Sophisticated Gourmet, and followed it word for word.

For the starter:

  • 1 envelope fast acting yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (mine was about 110 degrees)

For the dough:

  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp soft butter, cut into small pieces

For the bowl:

  • Vegetable oil

For boiling before cooking:

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar

For the finishing touches:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp water
  • pretzel salt

Step 1.

Pour water into bowl and sprinkle on yeast, sugar and salt. Let it sit about 5 minutes, until you can see it getting foamy. This means your yeast is alive and kicking. If this doesnt happen, scrap it and start again. Your water may have been too hot (killed it) or too cool (failed to activate). 

Step 2.

Add flours and butter. Combine in stand mixer (or by hand) until smooth. The dough shouldn’t feel sticky and should feel soft and bouncy.

Step 3.

Oil up a bowl and place the dough into it. Roll the dough around so it’s coated on all sides. Cover with a towel, and place in an oven, with the light on (temp in the oven will rise to about 100 degrees, great for bread. Anne taught me this.) for about an hour or until doubled in size.

Step 4.

Cut dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into an 18″ snake. Then, you’ll twist into pretzel shape: make a “U” shape with the dough, twist the ends twice, and fold over and press down. There are some great tutorial pics on the original link, if you a visual.

Arrange the pretzels on an oiled baking sheet and allow to rise for 20 minutes.

Step 5.

While the pretzels are rising, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the baking soda and sugar. Boil pretzels in batches, 1 minute per side. I let mine dry on a cooling rack, post-boil.

Step 6.

Preheat oven to 450. Make egg wash by combining egg and water, and brush over pretzels. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15 minutes. Let them cool on the racks again, and you’re DONE!

Pretzels can be stored at room temperature (don’t cover them or they’ll get mushy and weird) for 12 hours. Basically, make these the day you want to eat them.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2011 4:03 pm

    I love making pretzels! Thanks for the recipe and reminder 🙂

  2. ilovefetacheese permalink
    July 6, 2011 1:39 am

    those are perfection. i just need some mustard and I’m set

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