It was a busy week!  With warmer weather and bathing suit season here, I am returning to my healthier lifestyle, not that it should have left to begin with.  This means setting boundaries of work and personal life, healthier meals, running and more yoga.  I have joined the YMCA hosted “Couch to 5K” to aid in getting my running stride back.  I am registered to do the Electric Run in July, here in Charlotte, NC.  I also am doing two HOT yoga classes a week.  It felt great to return to my yoga practice this week.

Homemade pretzels are not on “the healthier eating habits” list, but I have been craving them.  I did well this week, therefore I justified making this recipe.  One cheat treat, a week.  (I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it.)  Move over Betty Crocker because I’m in the kitchen now!

homemade_pretzels

Homemade Pretzels

Makes 20

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • gourmet sea salt

Directions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in 1 1/3 cups of warm water.
  2. Add sugar and flour and mix until you have a smooth and elastic dough.  If you have difficulties combining all the flour once the dough ball begins to form add a little extra water to the mix, but no more than 1/3 of a cup extra.
  3. Cover with plastic and let it rise in a warm location for 45 minutes.
    (Note: If you are like me and tend to keep a cooler home, if it is warm outside place your covered dough on the patio table or in the garage.)
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add baking soda, and stir until the soda is dissolved.  And Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Cut the dough into 20 pieces and roll each piece into a long sausage.  Twist the two ends around each other three times, put ends together and thread through the loop which was created when the 2 ends were twisted.  It will form a tight pretzel looking shape.  Try different rolling/twisting techniques.
  6. Place each pretzel in the boiling water baking soda mixture and let them cook for 10 seconds on each side.  Take them out and place them on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  7. Sprinkle with salt.
  8. Bake at 475 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes or until dark golden.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy with spicy or sweet mustard, melted cheese or cinnamon and sugar.  Get creative with toppings!

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