Thursday, July 21, 2016

Fresh Blueberry Soft Pretzels!

I'm one blessed woman! I have the best helpers around! My

grandgirls came over this week and helped me bake up these delicious soft pretzels with the last (sigh.....) of my blueberries. This recipe was a bit of an experiment (though that is nothing new at this house!).....the biggest issue was that I wasn't sure how the blueberries would handle the "abuse" of being in a dough that is hand-rolled into long ropes. Fortunately, all things worked out! The girls were my "sprinklers" - the pretzels were topped with PLENTY of coarse sugar! After we enjoyed a few pretzels, we packed up the extras and off they went to friends - one to the girls' "mama" (my daughter);  a plate to folks who are unfortunately having to close their store uptown; a couple to my firecracker, 90-year-old friend Opal; and the last remaining pretzels to another 90-year old friend who is in the hospital. The tastiness was spread around all over town! I'm hoping my hubby won't feel too badly that he didn't get to taste them! They're easy enough to make, though, so perhaps I'll see if I can't scavenge a few mores berries from our bushes and bake up another batch!  

Enjoy the tastes of summer with these tart and tasty soft pretzels! 

Fresh Blueberry Soft Pretzels!
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 ½ - 4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp/packet Red Star Platinum instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp. grated lemon rind
¾  cup fresh blueberries

Water bath
10 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda

1/4 cup water whisked together with 2 tbl cornstarch
¼ cup coarse sugar (I mixed some “lemon sugar” into the coarse sugar)

Place warm water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated, adding flour, if necessary, to create a smooth, not-too-sticky dough.  Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Lightly flour your counter top. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll out each piece into a long rope about 16 inches long and shape into a traditional pretzel shape. Place on a waxed-paper-lined baking sheet, cover with a piece of waxed paper  and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400.

In a large, wide pot, bring the water to a boil. SLOWLY add the baking soda.
Add the pretzels, 3-4 at a time, to your pot without crowding. Boil for 30 seconds; flip, then boil for an additional 30 seconds.  Remove pretzels from the water with a slotted spoon and place on a greased baking sheet. Once all of the pretzels have been boiled, brush with the cornstarch mixture. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the pan around after 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy! 


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