I’ve been wanting to bake my own pretzels for a while now. Since it’s too rainy to do the things we had planned for today, I decided to take a crack at it. I used a recipe off the food network website. Because I can never just make something, they are all in animal shapes. I also made the batch half bleached flour and half wheat – it gave me two colors to work with and I usually like wheat flavor. The recipe’s on the website, so I won’t retread that info. I didn’t do the butter bath at the end, but instead brushed a small amount of butter on top.
So, Bert requested a giraffe (bottom left) and I just made stuff up for the rest of them. in spiral order (bottom left to bottom right up around to middle) the animals are lion, penguin, sideways gorilla, narwhal, and lizard. I tried the layering method for legs on the giraffe and lion. They look a bit ridiculous, but oh well. The dough was incredibly squishy because of the whole ‘dipping them in baking-soda water’ step, which was good for playing with the heads and toes, but bad for making non-lumpy shapes. favorite pre-baking? penguin. the two colors of dough really pop.
Holy crap this caused a lot of smoke. not sure exactly which fail got me, but I was frantically running around opening windows, turning on fans, and shaking a wet rag at the smoke detector. Crisis (aka loud noises) averted, thankfully. I managed to grab the tray without too much smoke billowing out at once. I blame the baking soda plus wax paper combo. probably wrong, but I’d like to blame something other than my own ineptness. Once the animals were out, they were brushed with butter and let cool for a millisecond before I scooped a couple up to taste.
verdict: meh on flavor. Bert only ate the giraffe’s head and gave me the rest. I’d personally vote that wheat is better tasting, but still not great. If I make pretzels again, I’ll use a new recipe. Verdict on shapes: Pretty Nifty. Both Bert’s and my favorite cooked creature is the lion. I guess he got over his lumpy phase. He’s also perpetually almost eating that giraffe. Run faster, lion!