Joe and I celebrated (too) many turkey dinners over the last four days, and hope to keep the fun going with gobblers this evening. The menu that graced our table included: pretzel bites (recipe below), blue cheese and scallion biscuits from Smitten Kitchen, Guy Fieri’s pan-roasted turchetta, Cook’s Illustrated Best Turkey Gravy, roasted garlic smashed potatoes, Martha Stewart’s simple stuffing, pineapple stuffing, nontraditional green bean casserole and pecan pie (pie crust from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking with Julia” and filling from the Joy of Cooking).
The turkey gravy, simple stuffing and green bean casserole are Thanksgiving staples that will continue to visit us year after year.
1½ tsp active dry yeast
½ tsp brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1½ C 110 degree water
4 C bread flour
1 TBSP baking soda
¼ C warm water
¼ C coarse salt
6 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
Combine first four ingredients (yeast, sugar, salt, water) in heavy mixing bowl; allow to rest for five minutes. Yeast should bubble a bit.
Stir flour into mixture, and knead for five minutes (I used a dough hook). Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for one hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Divide dough into eight equal-size pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a rope about 12-16” long (½ to ¾ inch thickness). Cut dough rope into 1-inch pieces.
Stir baking soda into ¼ cup warm water. Place pretzels onto a sheet pan lined with parchment, about two inches apart. Brush pretzels with baking soda water mixture. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush hot pretzels with melted butter (optional).
Sweet: For cinnamon-sugar pretzels, do not salt before baking. Add two tablespoons honey to one cup melted butter before brushing on baked pretzels. Sprinkle with mixture of one-half cup granulated sugar and one teaspoon ground cinnamon.