Baking

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Homemade Soft Pretzels

IMG_1353This winter it has been fun to introduce my boys to soft pretzels.  If we have a Sunday night at home, it has become the thing to do; make some homemade pretzels. We love ours with cheese sauce, pure and simple, oh wait that’s a boat load of carbs isn’t it?  Not quite as simple as I had hoped.  But cheers to great memories and a recipe!

SOFT PRETZELS

1- 1/2 cup warm water

1 heaping tbsp yeast

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 cups bread flour (you don’t have to use bread flour or white wheat, you can use all purpose for the whole recipe if you want)

1- 1/2 – 2 cups white wheat flour

1 tbsp baking soda dissolved in 1 cup warm water

coarse pretzel salt

2 tbsp melted butter

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.  Mix in the salt, baking powder and flour.  Knead until smooth and elastic, not more then 5 minutes.  Let rise 30-45 minutes.  Prepare the soda and water.  After the dough has risen, divide into 7 or 8 pieces.  Using both hands roll the dough out to a 1/2″ rope.  Place the rope in a U shape and then twist the ends and seal at the bottom of the U.  Pinch the ends at the bottom of the pretzel.  Dip in soda water.  Arrange on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with pretzel salt.   Allow the pretzels to rise 15-20 minutes and then bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden on top.  Drizzle with melted butter.

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Cheese sauce:

1/4 lb white American cheese

2+ tbsp milk or half and half

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Heat cheese and milk on low heat, stirring often so it won’t burn. If it is too thick for your liking, add more milk.  Serve with warm pretzels.

Cheers to a great weekend, loving well the ones in your

sphere of influence!  Spring is coming! Dawn

Red Raspberry Sweet Rolls aka Cinnamon Rolls

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We love these with cream cheese icing!  This would be a great treat to make for Valentine’s Day for all the lovies in your life.  A dear, little,  old lady that I lived with in Iowa gave me the basic shell of this recipe 20 years ago when I lived with her.  It is the best sweet roll recipe I have ever made!

Cinnamon Rolls

2 tbsp yeast

1 tsp raw or white sugar

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1/2 cup salted butter, softened

1/2 cup raw or white sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk

1/2 cup potato flakes (this keeps the dough super moist and soft)

3 cups bread flour

1 1/2 -2 cups white wheat flour

For Filling:

1- 1 1/2 cups red raspberry pie filling or

Cinnamon Sugar mixture: 1/2 cup salted butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp cinnamon

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tsp sugar in warm water.  In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar, eggs and salt.  Add yeast mixture and warm milk; mix together.  Add potato flakes and 4 cups of flour and beat until smooth.  Mix in enough remaining flour to make a very moist but easy to handle dough.  The stickier the dough the better your cinnamon rolls will be, but it also makes it harder to roll them out when they are too sticky.

Knead in your mixer with a dough hook for 4 minutes  or turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Place in a lightly oiled bowl.  Turn once to oil all sides of dough.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.  Divide dough in half; roll one half out into a very thin rectangle.  Spread with red raspberry filling or 1/4 cup melted butter and of brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle half of the mixture evenly over butter.  Roll up tightly, beginning at the wide end.  Cut into 1 inch slices, (I like to use dental floss to cut my rolls with, it makes a clean cut) and place rolls in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Roll out remaining half of dough, and add butter and sugar cinnamon mixture.  Cover and let rise until double in size, 60-90 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until lightly golden.  Lightly cool and frost with your favorite cream cheese icing. Yields: 12-16 rolls

Another option so that you can have fresh rolls whenever you want is to freeze half of this batch.  You freeze it right after you have rolled them out.  Immediately cover and wrap with wax paper and saran wrap. When your ready to have fresh rolls pull the pan out and let it thaw in your refrigerator over night.  In the morning pull out of the frig and let them proof and rise.  It will take a bit longer then an hour for them to raise properly because they are cold but once they are puffy and ready to go in the oven you will be so delighted that you have fresh rolls with out having had to roll them out that morning!

I just happen to have several pans of these in the freezer, I made them for gifts but now on this snowy, winter night I am going to pull a pan out for our cozy morning tomorrow.

CHEERS!

Dawn