You know those 5-Hour Energy commercials that always talk about that ‘2:30 feeling’? Well maybe you don’t, I actually haven’t seen one in a while. It talks about how everyone has this energy crash in the mid-afternoon of a work day. I don’t really get that…I get hungry. Usually I have lunch around noon, sometimes a bit later, but it seems no matter what I get hungry by the time 3 PM rolls around.
Most days I’ll just bring an extra piece of fruit with me but it’s nice to mix it up sometimes. A few times at my old job I would get pretzel sticks from the vending machine but it seemed silly to get a bag of 10 for a dollar when I could probably just make my own. So I did!
They aren’t as uniform as the ones you’d get from a bag in the snack aisle but I think are just as tasty. I had never made pretzels before so this was a fun experience too. I tried to make a few traditional twisted pretzel shaped ones but they just ended up as tangled balls of dough. So note to self, practice pretzel shaping.
I’m a fan of all things crunchy so I made hard pretzel sticks. These are thinner and baked longer than a soft pretzel so that they crisp up nicely. I probably actually over-did it slightly on the baking, some of them were too hard to bite right into. They absolutely did the trick in the afternoons at work to provide a great quick snack.
The boil then bake process is similar to bagels. I didn’t make the final shapes until I was about to drop them into the boiling water so it did take a while to get all of them done, but I certainly think the end product was worth the effort. These are great on their own or try with your favorite dip/spread. Enjoy!
On a totally unrelated note, I have been having some awesome weekend breakfasts lately. As a wedding gift we received a fantastic Lodge cast iron platter (basically a 15 inch slab) that I have been using as a griddle recently. Last week I bought a big metal spatula and cast iron grill press and have been grilling onions, hash browns, and eggs for breakfast on Saturday or Sunday. I’m still working on finding the perfect hash brown technique, I think I should have the heat up a little bit more. Mmmm, breakfast.
- 1 3/4 C water
- 1 T sugar
- 2 t salt (plus extra for topping)
- 2 T instant yeast
- 22 oz AP flour (4 3/4 C)
- 1 egg beaten with 1 T water
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine water, sugar, salt, yeast, andf lour. Mix with the dough hook attachment on low speed until all ingredients are combined. Then increase to medium speed and knead 4 to 5 minutes, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and has smoothed out. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover, letting rest for 1 houror until the dough has doubled.
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats. Set aside
In a wide pot or roasting pan add water until it is 1/3 full and place on the stovetop. Bring water to a boil.
While the oven and water heat turn the dough onto a clean work surface and divide the dough into 1 ounce portions. You will have about 36 pieces. Roll each piece of dough out to a 14 to 15 inch stick and place on sheet pans (or cut up into smaller sticks). If the dough will not stay stretched roll it out as far as you can and let rest for 10 minutes.
When the water is boiling place as many pretzels as will fit (probably 6-8 long ones) into the water. Boil for 30 seconds then place on the sheet pan. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle salt over if desired. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until hard and golden brown. Let cool on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes.
In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 1-ounce portions, approximately 36 pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 14 to15-inch long stick and place on the sheet pans, 1/4-inch apart. Cover the dough not being used with a slightly damp towel to help prevent drying out.
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown via FoodNetwork.com.