June 30, 2008

Pretzel Bites

I couldn’t find my enthusiasm lately or actually the time to post anything. The school ended, the vacation started and we are trying to joggle between work and Clara and I don’t know how we would that without our friends’ help about 3 days a week since we have no vacation yet.
It was Clara’s birthday, so we went to Disneyland, and although it was Friday, less people than during the weekend and not as hot as it was yesterday, it was still a long day of staying in lines, rides and autographs from characters, which we loved, but it took a toll on us. Saturday was calm, we were trying to get some rest, walked at the Promenade and ate a wonderful gelato - pistachio and pineapple and watch for second time in 2 weeks already Camp Rock. And then, about 9 o’clock at night I started to make some cheese puff pastry and pretzel bites for the get-together yesterday to watch the soccer finale Spain - Germany.
We went to my friend’s house and really enjoyed the huge screen (never thought I would say this), then spent the day playing cards and Scrabble. And finished the day by taking a walk to Barnsdall park, where Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House is, just about 2-3 blocks away from my friend’s house.
I was planning to make these pretzels for a long time, but usually I remember when it’s very late at night and I cannot wait for the dough to rise ad then to bake them. On weekends when I could start fresh in the morning, I get busy or we leave the house now that the weather is so nice, that I couldn’t find time for them. So, Saturday I decided to stay as late as needed and make half a batch.
And Clara told me it was soooo worth it and I should make them again.
They were good with cold beer while watching the game, and I think I’ll make them often from now on, as there was nothing complicated, and they baked really quickly.
This coming weekend we are going to Big Bear for three days and everybody is over the head excited, cannot wait to be at the cabin, hike, barbeque, see the fireworks and be with our friends. And I promise I’ll have some pictures when I come back.
The recipe is from Martha Stewart’s book "M.S.’s Hors D’Oeuvre’s Handbook.
I did not have pretzel salt, but only sea salt (coarse), and it worked just fine. The instructions are following the book.
ingredients:
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast (1 1/4 oz packet)
5 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp oil
2 tbsp baking soda
1 large egg for egg wash
2 tbsp pretzel salt/ kosher/ coarse/sea
1 tbsp cumin seeds toasted
1 tbsp fennel seeds toasted
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Pour 2 cups of hat water in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. When the water is 110F, sprinkle the yeast over, let it sit for 5 min, until the mixture is foamy and creamy.
With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour and salt, one cup of flour at a time, just until well combined. Beat on medium low until the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl, about 1-2 minutes. Take the dough out and knead it by hand on a floured board, about 2-3 minutes, until smooth.
If not using a mixer, just put the flour in a large mixing bowl and pour in the middle the yeast mixture and knead by hand until well combined, then on the floured board, until smooth, about 7-10 minutes.
Coat a bowl with oil and put the dough in it, turning it to coat with oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled, 1 to 1.5 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 F. Lightly oil two baking sheets and set them aside.
Punch the dough to remove any bubbles, knead a couple of times on a floured board, then divide the dough in 6-8 pieces. Working one piece at a time, cover the others with plastic wrap or a damp towel, roll them in a long strips about ½ inch wide. Cut each strip in 3/4 inch pieces. Transfer the pieces to the baking sheets.
Fill a large pot with 2 in. water and bring to a boil, add the baking soda, and reduce to a simmer. Put about 15-18 pieces into the water and poach them for 1 minute. Take the bites out with a slotted spoon and transfer the to a clean dry baking dish. Arrange the bites on the oiled baking sheets.
Working in batches, brush the bites with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt and then with the flavorings.

Bake until golden brown 12-15 minutes, rotating the sheets once. Serve warm or the day when they are made.

Versiunea Romana

In ultima perioada mi-a fost cam greu sa-mi gasesc entuziasmul sau de fapt timp pentru a posta ceva. Scoala s-a terminat, a venit vacanta si noi incercam sa jonglam serviciul si vacanta Clarei, si sincer nu stiu cum ne-am descurca fara ajutorul prietenilor.
Weekendul trecut a fost ziua Clarei, asa ca am fost la Disneyland, si desi am ales sa mergem Vineri ca sa evitam aglomeratie din timpul weekendului, si desi nu a fost asa de cald ca ieri, a fost a zi luuunga, cu mult stat la cozi, diferite jocuri, autografe de la printese si caractere din desene, care ne-au placut ca de obicei, dar ne-au si obosit. Sambata a fost calma, am incercat sa ne odihnim, apoi ne-am plimbat la promenada din Santa Monica si am mancat o inghetata minunata de fistic si ananas, iar seara a "trebuit" sa vizionam pt. a doua oara in 2 saptamani filmul Camp Rock. Apoi, pe la 9 seara, m-am apucat de copt niste patueri cu branza si bucatelele de covrigei pentru adunare de Duminica la finala de fotbal Spania - Germania.
Ne-am adunat la prietena noastra mai multi ca baietii sa vada meciul pe ecranul ei urias ( pe cuvant ca de data asta am inteles si eu de ce e minunat asa un tv), apoi am jucat carti si Scrabble. Spre seara am facut o plimbarica la parcul Barnsdall, unde e casa Hollyhock a lui Frank Lloyd Wright.
Am tot planuit sa ma apuc de covrigeii astia d eceva vreme, numai ca de obicei mi-aduc aminte sau mi-e pofta seara tarziu, cand nu as mai avea timp sa ii coc dupa ce astepti sa creasca aluatul 1 ora si jumatate. Iar in weekenduri, cand as putea incepe de dimineata, ma iau cu alte tebuiri, apoi iesim la vreo plimbare si iar nu gasesc timp. Asa ca Sambata, desi tarziu bine, am zis ca trebuie sa stau cat de tarziu si sa-i fac.
Iar Clara a zis ca a meritat efortul si ca trebuie sa-i mai fac siguur.
Au fost buni de rontait la o bere in timpul meciului, si pentru ca nu a fost nimic greu de facut si se coc asa repede, o sa-i mai fac desigur.
Weekednul ce vine vom merge cu prietenii la Big Bear (suuus la munte) pentru 3 zile si toata lumea e super incantata, de-abia astetam sa vedem cabana, sa mergem pe munte, sa facem gratare, sa vedem artificiile de 4 Iulie si sa fim cu prietenii. Si promit si niste poze cand ma intorc.
Reteta este din cartea "Martha Stewart’s Hors D’Oeuvre’s Handbook".
Eu nu am avut sare speciala pt. covrigei, dar am pus sare de mare mai grunjoasa si a mers perfect. Si am facut numai o jumatate de portie.
Ingrediente:
1 lingura zahar
2 lingurite drojdie granule (7g)
700 g faina cups
1 lingura sare
2 lingurite ulei
2 linguri bicarbonat de sodiu
1 ou batut cu apa pt. uns covrigeii
2 linguri sare grunjoasa ( de covrigi, de mare)
1 lingura seminte de chimion, prajte putin
1 lingura seminte de chimen, prajite putin
1 lingura seminte de susan
1 lingura seminte de mac
2 linguri Parmesan ras

Se pune apa fierbinte intr-un bol si se amesteca cu zaharul pana se dizolva. Apoi, cand temperatura apei e 110F ( cC) se adauga drojdia si se lasa 5 minute pana se umfla drojdia.
Se pune faina intr-un bol si se face un caus in mijloc in care se toarna maiaua, apoi se framanta pana faina e incorporata in totalitate si aluatul e omogen. Se framanta pe o planseta cu faina pana aluatul e neted, timp de vreo 7-10 minute in total.
Eu am folosit un mixer si am framantat cu mana numai vreo 2-3 minute la sfarsit.
Se unge un vas cu ulei si se pue aluatul in el, introcandu-se o data incat sa fie uns cu ulei peste tot, se acopera cu folie de plastic si un prosop si se lasa la crescut intr-un loc ferit de curent timp de 1 ora - o ora si jumatate, pana s-a dublat in volum.
Se incalzeste cuptorul la 450F ( 232C, f. fierbinte). Se ung doua tavi de copt cu putin ulei si se pun deoparte.
Se scoate aluatul din vas si se framata pe planseta cu faina de cateva ori cat sa iasa aerul din el. Se imparet in 6-8 parti si fiecare parte se intinde ca un cordon de 1.5 cm latime si se taie in bucatele de 2 -3 cm.
Intr-o cratita larga se pun vreo 5 cm de apa la fiert si cand da in clocot se adauga bicarbonatul, spoi se reduce focul. Se pun in apa 15-18 bucati de covrigei si se lasa sa fiarba timpd e1 minut, apoi se scot cu o spumiera intr-un vas uscat. Se procedeaza asa cu toate bucatile de aluat, pe rand.
Bucatile care au fost oparite se aseaza pe taile unse cu ulei, se ung cu ou pe deasupra si se presara intai cu sare, apoi cu celelalte condimente, dupa preferinta.
Se coc pana devin aurii, timp de 12-15 minute, rotindu-se tava o data ca sa se coaca uniform.
Cei mai buni sunt calzi, sau in ziua in care au fost copti.

2 comments:

Nicoleta said...

Roxana,ce buni si aspectosi...merg tare bine la o bere. Am retinut si eu reteta.
Pupici!

P.S
La multi ani, Clarei! Sa fie sanatoasa si sa va aduca numai satisfactii.

roxana said...

Ma bucur daca iti plac, Nico, exact asa s-au si mancat la meci. o singura avertizare, sa nu pui prea multa faina, isi iau si cand ii mai intinzi pe planseta, ies tari rau.
Multumesc mult pt. Clara, la fel va doresc si voua pentru cavalerul tau.