Every month can be found to have a whole laundry list of random food holidays associated with it. While most of them aren’t really worth mentioning (Lima Bean Respect Day? What does that even mean?), I felt that one of the holidays this month was truly worth celebrating.
Happy National Soft Pretzel Month!
As a teenager, the mall food court would lure me with the siren song scents of soft pretzels. And while I have moments where I am starting to pine for my lost youth, that non-vegan trash is not on my list of desires. How could it be, when now I can have them at home, freshly made with a blend of spelt flour and enjoyed with an array of fancy mustards and paired with some lager?
Supuh Soft Pretzels
1 teas. rapid rise yeast
1 teas. organic sugar or sweetener
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. warm milk of choice
1 tbsp. margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole grain spelt flour (could use wheat or more all-purp)
1/2 teas. salt
3 tbsp. baking soda
3 cups warm water
In a large bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and milk. Let sit for 5 minutes, until yeast is “proofed” and has expanded and made milk look cloudy. In another bowl, combine the flours and salt. Add margarine to the yeast mixture and begin incorporating the flour 1/2 cup at a time, until a smooth dough comes together.
Turn out onto a smooth, clean surface and knead until dough becomes smooth and slightly tacky, but not sticky, adding flour as needed, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease. Punch down dough and knead slightly until it feels uniform. Divide dough into 6 sections and roll each section out to about 12 inches. Let dough sit for a few minutes to relax. While dough is relaxing, mix baking soda with water and stir until soda is dissolved.
Return to dough and roll out some more until each piece is between 18–20 inches long. Fold dough into a pretzel knot and dip into baking soda solution (this gives them their signature flavor and look). Place pretzel on prepared baking sheet and repeat.
Bake pretzels at 450 for 10 minutes, until golden and puffy. Remove from oven and brush with melted margarine or oil and sprinkle with coarse salt before serving.
Yields: 6 servings
Squirrel’s Vegan KitchenGo back in time to my original blog: Squirrel’s Vegan Kitchen!
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