Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Herby Pretzels for Packed Lunches...

I love baking a food item that is an equal favourite with Children and Adults. As you can imagine, i am not the sort of lady to suffer nonsense! We all eat the same foods in our house and we don't cater to the 'whims' of children (or menfolk). It has had the desired effect, as i now have a daughter who eats blue cheese, olives, smoked salmon... and will try anything at least once.

These are a great food to bake. Herby Pretzels are a healthy snack at midmorning - or an accompaniment to soups / salads - and simple to chuck in a lunch box or snack pack when you're out and about.
*200g plain flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*6 tablespoons of unsalted butter (this is the recipie i used - but i used room soft butter not liquid / melted butter)
*salt + other herbs of choice: I used crushed corriander seeds / mustard seeds / paprika and celery salt.
*Splash of milk
*egg to glaze
Basically, bung the flour in a large bowl and add all the herby choices. Mix round a bit. I used a generous teaspoon of each dried herb listed and smashed them all up with the pestle and mortar so my daughter didn't have any surprise chunky herbs that put her off. The paprika gave a nice redish tint.
Rub in the butter to make breadcrumbs. Gentle add tiny splashes of milk until you can knead it all together in a non sticky ball of dough. You can refridgerate the dough for half an hour to make the dough easier to shape... not me, you understand, i am too impatient - so i used lots of flour on my hands when rolling to avoid a sticky mess.

I pulled off a clump a bit bigger than a golf ball. On a floury surface with floury hands i rolled it into a long sausage and then folded it into the pretzel shape. THEN, at this moment, i wished i had greased and prepared my baking tray at the BEGINNING as i now have sticky hands and nowhere to put the pretzel shape (quick wash hands - grease my biscuits tray x2 - start again)

Then i have that dilemna i have every time.... it seems like such a waste of an egg to just crack one open for a glazed effect, but i think it's worth it - so i glazed the top of each pretzel with egg before popping them in the oven. I could have used milk, but then i made my daughter 'Eggy Bread' for lunch with the remaining egg, so i get extra points for thrifty cooking :)

Onto a tray and in the middle of the oven 180 / 350 / gas4 for about 18mins....
We looked at them and decided they looked a little bit like doggy poos sat there. But don't let that put you off, they taste great! But next time i might change the shape slightly, ya know?

Leave to cool on a wire rack to stop the pretzels overcooking on the hot tray.
They keep for about a week in an airtight tub but i have a few greedy bugs in my house and they lasted 2 days.... All good though, they aren't a bad thing to binge on.

Obviously the key things to this recipe are:
1. They are soooo quick to make.
2. You don't need any ingredients that a cookery loving adult wouldn't have in their cupboard.
3. They last for a week which is good.
4. You can change the flavours: Rosemary and Garlic? Cheese and Red Pesto?...
5. A great finger food for toddlers ... age appropriate thru teens to adults.
I do have a pretzel recipe that i much prefer BUT it involves yeast and rising and i tend to save that when i feel like crying, so i can bash the dough around and get rid of angst.... i'll save it for another time x
happy fooding :)


nickynackynoo said...

These look great and just right for my picky boys - you should have seen how quickly they devoured all the different breads at Carluccio's this evening. Rosemary and sea salt would be nice. Might try these tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe.

Mrs B said...

I am sure I am supposed to fain a knowing smile....'yes yes thats my lovely cooking partner...I am knowingly impressed'

HOWEVER!! I am going to leave a huge, uncontrolled comment about your fabby post! I am SOOOOOOOOO excited about those! Hello?!!?!?! In my oven tomorrow!


Menopausal musing said...

Think I shall be making some of these. Thank you. x

Two Truly Scrumptious Ladies said...

A 'Mummy' friend of mine just took the recipe away too - these pretzels are travelling people!!