Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day 2009

...was positively lovely. Homemade soft pretzels? Oh yes!

Also, these were fairly easy to make. I promise.

Soft Pretzels

Originally from MayaMade

Makes 12-14 pretzels


1 cup of warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons of active yeast (one of those little packets)
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
2 tablespoons soft butter - for greasing the pans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
5 teaspoons baking soda


1. Combine warm water and active yeast. Let sit for five minutes.
2. Add flour, salt, and sugar. Mix for three minutes.
3. Add pastry flour.
4. Knead until the dough loses its stickiness. Let in rise in a covered and oiled bowl until doubled in sized.
5. Punch down and divide into 12-14 pieces. Roll into 18 inch snakes with tapered ends. Loop into traditional shapes, or hearts, letters, numbers... the possibilities are endless.
6. Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise until almost doubled in size again.
7. Preheat the oven to 475ºF.
8. Bring a pot filled with 4 cups of water to a boil. Carefully add baking soda - it will fizz. (don't use an aluminum pan for this step!).
9. Carefully lower the pretzels into the water for one minute or until they float to the top - flip halfway through (the color changes).
10. Remove with a slotted spoon and return to baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
11. Bake until golden.

There was also the lovely curry chicken, complete with our bottle of champagne and the beautiful red roses (yes, they are in a water pitcher. I'm just that classy).

The weekend was also full of lots of phone calls to friends, plus a long walk, a PCR reaction that worked (woo-hoo! PCR is a DNA experiment that I do in lab, and it's a hand-wavy science that is based in rules yet is often tricky to get to work correctly. Which is a pain). I also switched things around in my room, putting the bed against the window to try and open things up a bit. We'll see how I like it, but odds are good it will stay this way. It's hard to live in a furnished apartment in some ways, since you are really bound by the size of things and have to work around what you have to keep. It's been very nice, certainly, but I'm itching to be somewhere that I can choose a bed (and have it NOT be an extra long twin. Because these make me feel like I'm in college, and I would rather feel like an adult, thank you very much). Soon...soon.

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