Two bits of news!
The first exciting thing is that I have a job, as a baker. Next week I start work at Great Harvest in Rockville. That means getting up an hour before the buttcrack of dawn to do the whole professional baker thing. Yikes!
The second bit of news includes a recipe, since that’s what this blog is here for. Way back in early May or late April, my friend Molly and I made a whole big bunch of pretzels shaped like ampersands (the & symbol), each in its own typeset Why, you ask? Clearly, because we’re more awesome than you. After much coaxing from me, she finally posted the pictures on her blog.
The photos and a lot of the shapes were done by Molly, and the fonts belong to their respective designers.
Mall-style Soft Pretzels
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c warm water
4 c all purpose flour
2 c water with 2 tbsp of baking soda suspended in it
2 tbsp butter, melted
kosher salt, for sprinkling
Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water. Add that to the flour and salt, then knead well. This should take about ten minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 450˚F.
Cut the dough into a dozen (roughly) equal pieces. Pencil roll each of them until it is around 3 feet long, and no more than half an inch thick. Twist into an ampersand shape of your favorite font. We liked Garamond Italic, among others.
Dip the pretzels in the baking soda suspension and place them on the counter to proof for about 15 minutes. Transfer them onto a baking sheet with parchment paper (note: NOT waxed paper. As we learned, these things are different) and bake for 10-12 minutes.
After you take the pretzels out, brush them with melted butter and sprinkle on the coarse salt. Eat them, or make signs with them.