I finally have a Hop Day with Izzy post! Yes, I realize it’s Thursday, but whatever. Better than no bunny photos this week.
We aren’t the kind of people that buy in to the concept of buying Christmas presents for pets, (especially the kind that would rather nibble on the wrapping paper than touch the actual present) but we were at PetSmart looking at automatic feeders and spotted this “small cat” bed/pad thing and thought Izzy might enjoy a softer sleeping spot. So far she’s barely made use of it, only using it as an island in the sea of hardwood flooring where her little paws slip about. I barely managed to snap this shot of her on the “bed”, as she hopped off about .7 seconds after it was taken.
I bet now that we’re back at work, she sleeping on the damn thing all day, just to spite us. Right after she eats part of my most recent issue of Bon Appetit. (Photo on Instagram.)
And now for a little something I like to nibble on. Growing up, I used to eat microwaved soft pretzels like crazy. Even when they were freezer burned and somehow got harder after being heated.
So when I first realized I could make pretzel bread, you better believe I was thrilled. Beyond thrilled. Like, burned my tongue eating at least two right out of the oven.
In my next post, I’ll be sharing a recipe that turns these tasty buns into a hearty meal, but for now, let there be bread!
One Year Ago: Ninjabread Men Cookies
- 2 ¾ cups bread flour (or all-purpose)
- 2 ¼ tsp (one packet) instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp hot water (not boiling)
- cornmeal for dusting (optional)
- 8 cups water (or so, I didn’t actually measure)
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 egg white (or whole egg), beaten until foamy
- coarse salt for topping
- Combine the bread flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and give it a few quick shakes to combine. Add the hot water slowly, while constantly stirring, until the dough comes together. You may not need all of the water. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes.
- Spray another large bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in volume.
- Turn the dough back out onto your lightly floured surface. Press down and knead lightly into a ball, dusting with flour if too sticky. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a ball and transfer to a parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with a towel and let the dough balls rise for 30 minutes, or until nearly doubled in volume.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper and sprinkle generously with cornmeal if desired. Add the water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Carefully add the baking soda a little at a time, as the water will boil up after each addition. Place half of the rolls in the water (or however many fit comfortably) and cook them for 30 seconds per side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the prepared baking sheet and cut an “x” into the top of each with a sharp knife. Repeat process with the remaining rolls.
- Brush the rolls with the egg or egg white then sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the rolls cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 rolls
Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures