Friday, November 6, 2009


A few weeks ago I read a book called "Hungry Monkey" A Food Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater, a very fun book for someone like me. One of the recipes he and his daughter explore is homemade Pretzels, Miss Lu and I both thought that would be fun to try. This is not his exact recipe but close, definitely inspired by the book

It is exciting for me because it has yeast, something that I have a love hate relationship with, and it is a fun process. Miss Lu has been helpful cooking with me often but unfortunately she is not the most adventurous eater, so this was something that I knew we would enjoy making and everyone would like for a snack:

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp dry active yeast
1 tsp kosher salt
1 TBL Honey
1/2 cup warm water (about 100 f if you are the kind of person that checks)
2 TBS baking soda (you don't need it yet, do not add to the mixture!)

Mix the water, honey and yeast into a small bowl and let it activate (the yeast gets a little foamy at the edges) then add that to the flour and salt and mix well using dough hooks for about 4-5 minutes. If it is a little dry ie all the flour doesn't incorporate add a little more water if it is too soft add a bit more flour.

I think that I have mentioned my capacity to worry a recipe to death I took both of these steps a few times... try not to be like me, I am sure it is fine.

Let the dough rise for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, punching down once about halfway through. When that is done cut the dough into 6 pieces (about 2 oz each) I use the back of a knife to divide it up then roll it out into strips about 18 inches long then shape the pretzels and put them on a baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 450 and then add the baking soda to water in a 2 qt saucepan and bring to a boil.

Drop the pretzels 3 at a time into the boiling water when they make their way from the bottom of the pot to the top let them boil for about 30 second then turn them over for another 30 seconds. Take them out and put them back on the pan then do the other 3. Sprinkle with salt (I used sea salt) and put the pan into the hot oven for 9 or 10 minutes.

I have a couple of things to add to this post, first when the author describes making pretzels with his daughter he describes a game where she picks up a string and forms it into a random shape and asks "daddy, would you eat a pretzel shaped like this?" repeat 1000 times. I found this same game repeated in my kitchen and if you read the linked post you will find it again. Please foodie parents read the book it is a lot of fun. The second thing, one blogger I follow made a similar post the same day that I made this one... it is coincidence (I swear) please look at her blog It is a lot of fun.

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