This weekend, I was introduced to two things with which I had not previously been familiar: Alton Brown's Good Eats series and making pretzels. The latter involved all sorts of fun new things: hand rolling (with a little pressure while stretching) elastic pretzel dough, forming pretzels, dipping them in a baking soda bath (2/3 cups of baking soda - I had no idea you could buy it in such large containers!), brushing with egg yolk and sprinkling with gigantic sea salt. And then the best part - ok, almost best part - watching them brown in the oven while the house filled with smells of bread baking loveliness. The best part came when we ate the pretzels - warm from the oven dipped in mustard (with ein bier und brat, natuerlich! oh, and I'm supposed to mention that the brats were cooked in beer - "Milwaukee style").
While we enjoyed the bounties of our labor, we watched the two-segment series on YouTube from Alton Brown's Good Eats, where he walks through how to make same pretzels that we did: first segment, second segment.
If you haven't made pretzels from scratch before, this is a super fun project. It takes a bit of time: an hour for the dough to rise and then an assembly line set of steps plus baking to get to final pretzel product. But one made pretzel and you'll realize it was all worth it.
Here are some pics from our pretzel-making party: