Sunday, March 30, 2014

Whole Wheat Cinnamon-Sugar Breakfast Pretzels

no co-pay.
Whole Wheat Cinnamon-Sugar Breakfast Pretzels.
Emotional well being in tiny pretzel form.

Early spring in New England is a filthy tease. It is consistent in its confusing, frustrating... inconsistency. The first gloriously warm day will give way to snow, then wind, then rain, rain, RAIN. Those longer daylight hours I pined for all winter seem pointless because, really, it just means more gray skies. Because of you, New England spring, my body is irrationally craving gorgeous, colorful, leafy vegetables that have not yet arrived. I never know whether or not to wear a coat. Everything is muddy and, worst of all, baseball season has not yet begun. 
How do I cope?
With food, of course, and lots of it.
Pretzel therapy.
Breakfast pretzel therapy, more specifically.
Because, gray or not, any day that starts with a soft pretzel is a good day.
Cheaper than seeing your shrink and a lot more emotionally satisfying.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon-Sugar Breakfast Pretzels
(makes 16 mini pretzels)

1 3/4c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4c lukewarm water
2tsp active dry yeast
3Tbsp coconut sugar (you can also use organic sugar)
1Tbsp extra virgin olive oil + extra for greasing the bowl
1/4tsp ground sea salt

1Tbsp melted unrefined coconut oil
1Tbsp ground cinnamon
1Tbsp coconut or organic sugar

Combine water and active dry yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer 
fitted with a dough hook 
and allow to proof for 10 minutes, or until lightly frothy.
Add flour, sugar, olive oil and salt.
Mix until dough is well combined, about 5-6 minutes.
You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl a few times, 
as the whole wheat dough can be a bit stiff.
Form finished dough into a ball and place in a large well oiled bowl.
Cover with a dishtowel or plastic wrap and place in a warm place, inside of an unheated oven with the light on works well, to rise for 1-2 hours, 
until roughly doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Turn fully risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface and form into a rectangle.
Using a dough scraper or sharp knife divide it into 16 equal pieces, 
less if you are making larger pretzels.
Roll each piece of cut dough into a long "snake" shape, about 6-8 inches long, 
and form into pretzel shapes.
Place formed pretzels on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. 
Using a pastry brush, apply a coat of melted coconut oil to each pretzel, 
then dust with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake for 9-12 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Early spring ain't so bad after all.

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