Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013, I Like You

Pretzel Twists and Molasses Cheddar Bread

Hey 2013, I've decided that I like you and you can stay. We woke up to another dreary weather forecast today with 100% chance of rain every single hour, so we decided to make the most of being cooped up indoors with a day of baking.

I tackled Rice Krispy Treats and Chex Mix. Ben decided to make soft pretzels for our friend Bethany and he also made up a cheddar cheese & molasses bread to go with dinner. Yes, my half of the kitchen is the bunny slope while B's is all black diamonds. But it all tastes delicious, so it's cool.

Our sous-chef helped by stirring Cheerios and then taking a three-hour nap so we could actually bake. She woke up just in time for taste testing.

I think it's safe to say that B has mastered the soft pretzel -- the soft pretzel, which we all know is one of the few remaining reasons to actually set foot in a mall, ever. Thankfully, Bethany brought up a similar point on NYE & thus the inspiration for the pretzel baking for Bethany.

Pretzel Braids

3.5c white flour
1.5 tbsp brown sugar
1tsp diced garlic
2tsp salt
1.5c warm milk
1tbsp softened butter
1tbsp yeast

Rise twice, roll into 4 snakes, braid. Brush with hot water and sprinkle with sea salt prior to baking: 425 for 15 min
Pretzels will come out with a semi-hard crust.


In addition Ben experimented with a cheddar cheese bread. He was going for something complex to offset the tons of cheddar we had leftover from making pizzas. So he pulled together a molasses and wheat flour dough. It's a bold tasting bread. I'm really not sure how to describe it other than it all works together. Plus, it just looks like a great winter bread. It's delicious on its own & I'm sure it'll be great with dinner, too. We've been slicing slivers since about 3, so I hope there's some left.

Molasses Cheddar Cheese Bread
3c white flour
.5c wheat flour
1bsp molasses
1tsp white sugar
2tsp salt
2tbsp olive oil
2.5tsp yeast
1.5c water
cheese to cover (grated sharp cheddar)

Rise twice, roll into two pizza-shaped crusts, cover with cheese and bake: start at 425 reduce to 350 until done (about 30min).

I'll spare you the pictures of the Rice Krispy treats and Chex Mix, even though you'd totally be impressed with my skills.  Happy 2013 & happy baking & eating!