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Halmark has let us down!

April 26, 2009

April 26th is National Pretzel Day.  Who knew?  Apparently not Halmark.  No holiday-over-commercialization on this one.  That’s okay.  Halmark, you go ahead and sit this one out; I’ll take care of the pretzel press.

There is record of pretzel indulgences back in 610 AD.  That’s practically Pre-Historic, people.  T-Rex probably indulged in a salty twist of dough.  Now we couldn’t let a holiday that historic slip by without proper celebration, so with absolutely no help from Halmark, we indulged of pretzel celebrations.  With our luck, maybe next year we’ll be able to give each other over-priced squares of cardboard on National Pretzel Day, too.

Sure, I could have just made a batch of my delicious soft pretzels.  But I can be found doing that on any old day.  This was a day of celebration.  I had to take it up a notch. ( I also had to use up some hotdogs that I’d purchased for the Omnivore last week).

Yes.  That is a zucchini wrapped in pretzel dough.  Well, I couldn’t make pretzel dogs only for the ‘vore, could I?  Admittedly, I had planned on wrapping one of my vegan sausages instead of a vegetable, but I had miscalculated: there were no vegan sausages in my freezer.

So I was left with a bowl full of pretzel dough and no vegetarian “meat” to wrap up.  My mind started racing for an approprtiate tubular item to wrap in the delicious dough.  Zucchini came to mind.  Absolutely delicious.

Soft Pretzels (8 traditionally shaped pretzels, lightly adapted from Alton Brown)
• 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
• 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
–I used 1 cup AP, 1/2 cup WW flour, and the balance in bread flour because I ran out of AP flour.  I’m not running a bakery here, people, I might run out of ingredients every now and then.
• 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
• Vegetable oil, for pan
• 10 cups water
• 2/3 cup baking soda
• 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
• Pretzel salt

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Place dough in a well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow bowl to sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.  Portion dough out into 11 portions of dough.  I used 8/11 of this to form pretzels and freeze for future Pretzel Day celebrations.

Roll the remaining 3 dough balls into snakes.  Wrap, in a spiral manner, the hotdog or zucchini or whatever.  Drop into a pot of gently boiling baking soda + water and cook 1 minutes (30 seconds on each side).  Brush with an egg wash and bake in a 475* oven for 12 minutes until golden brown.

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A rare glimpse of meat in brannyboilsover.  Shhh, don’t tell PETA!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2009 11:34 am

    Wow! I didn’t know today is National Pretzel Day… Happy Pretzel Day! Those are nice looking pretzels!Hope you wont mind but I’d love to guide Foodista readers to your site, just add this little widget here to this post and it’s all set to go, Thanks! – Alisa@Foodista.com

  2. April 26, 2009 2:45 pm

    I love how you stuffed yours with zucchini – they look very tasty

  3. April 26, 2009 8:51 pm

    These look good!

  4. April 26, 2009 10:20 pm

    Pretzel day? Wow, how’d you find that out? I love soft pretzels but have never thought about wrapping stuff in it, especially zucchini. That looks delicious!

  5. joelen permalink
    April 27, 2009 11:22 am

    These look fantastic! I hope to try this soon!

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