" Field Of Dreams" Batter-up Ballpark Pretzels

(If You Bake Them, They'll Say Yum)

You Will Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 tsp. baking soda mixed with 1 quart water
  • 1 egg, beaten with 2 tsp water
  • kosher salt sesame seed, poppy seed
  • 1 pinch hitter

1. Combine the water, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl and set aside in a warm spot. After 10-15 minutes, the mixture should begin to foam and bubble.

2. Add the salt and half of the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. Turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface and gradually knead just enough remaining flour to form a smooth and elastic dough.

3. Continue to knead the dough for another 5 minutes before transferring it to a clean bowl oiled with a few drops of olive oil. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat all sides evenly with oil.

4. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft free place until doubled in bulk, about half an hour. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Punch the dough down and roll into a large log. Divide into 12 even pieces, then roll each piece into a 16-18 inch rope.

5. Shape the pretzels into any shapes that come to mind. To form a traditional pretzel shape, simply tie the dough into a loose knot pinching the ends across the loops.

6. Combine the baking soda and the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower each pretzel in the boiling water until it begins to float, about 30 seconds.

7. Drain each pretzel and transfer to a greased baking sheet, brush lightly with the egg-water mixture and sprinkle generously with kosher salt or cumin, caraway, sesame, and poppy seeds.

8. Cover the pretzels with a cloth and allow to rise again, about 5 minutes. Bake in preheated 450°F oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

9. After dinner fill the sink with hot water and hope that someone will come.

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