Finished Pretzel rolled by 4 year old with help from mom.
There are some things that just don't exist where we live. Most days this isn't a problem, I cook with what I've got on hand and make it up as I go. We don't eat outside of the house and as a consequence of all of these tiny factors, meals can start to run together as a general cloud of chicken and potatoes.
But then there are those days when I think, "Why can't we make Arby's Curly Fries at home?" Or "How hard could it be to make Salsa Verde?"
The fries aren't actually very difficult to replicate with some simple spices we keep in the house, but as luck would have it the tomatillo is entirely inaccessible in the Middle East. *Tomatillo is a husked, sour, green, tomato like vegetable and it is the base for Salsa Verde.
When my 4 year old was hinting for a baking project the other day, I knew it was time to try something different. The impostor recipe for Aunt Annie's pretzels that I had come across seemed too promising to pass up.
The recipes can be found all over the web but they more or less all seem about the same. Here's what I used.
After I threw the yeast and sugar to proof in a bowl I walked away for a minute and by the time I returned to the kitchen, I knew this recipe was absolute gold. The brown sugar must be the secret because my entire kitchen smelled like Aunt Annie's Pretzels.
Not that I want my kitchen to smell like a mall foodcourt, but in this case it was a good sign.
Although the recipe I followed was rated a 4 out of 5 in difficulty, it seemed pretty straight forward and the soda/water bath before baking really made the difference in the pretzel texture.
My kids like Za'atar, lots of it on everything. So while the kids and spouse devoured their homemade mall style pretzels with a distinctly Israeli twist, I quietly made mine cinnamon and sugar and enjoyed the few minutes of peace in my kitchen.
This is a Curly Fry impostor recipe that I've used on everything from tiny potato wedges to sweet potato slices... it may not be exactly like those greasy deep-fried calorie explosions, but does make for a great quick way to spice up the nightly side-dish. If it just isn't the same without the long potato curls... here's the thingy that curls fries for you.