Soft Pretzels and Roasted Garlic hummus


My husband’s family had an end of the summer dinner which lands on the labor day weekend. The food was great and it was nice to have a dinner with them before my schedule gets extremely hectic.

The pretzels tasted great! Instead of salt I used sesame seeds on top of the pretzels. There were two things that I found with this recipe. One I have no idea what the function of boiling the pretzels in the baking soda/ water for 30 seconds achieves. Second this is a very time consuming recipe when it comes to rolling out the ropes of dough.

I highly recommend a non stick dough mat. That is the only thing that saved me during this adventure. I found this dough mat at Meijers for 14 dollars. I love the mat already because it works, its easy to clean, and it has all sorts of measurements for various items.

Thanks to my wonderful husband I was able to finish these two recipes with time to spare.

Soft Pretzels
Ingredients:
For the dough:
1½ cups warm water (110-115° F)
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
22 oz. all-purpose flour (about 4½ cups)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl

For finishing:
Cooking spray
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp. water
Pretzel (or kosher) salt

Directions:
To make the dough, combine the water, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed to dissolve the yeast.  Add in the flour and melted butter and mix just until the dough comes together.  Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed until the dough is smooth and clears the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly greased with vegetable oil, turning once to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, about 50-55 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to 450° F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Bring the water and baking soda to a boil in a large saucepan or stockpot.  In the meantime, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Working with one piece at a time, roll a segment out into a 24-inch long rope.  Make a U-shape with the rope and holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and onto the bottom of the U-shape in order to form the shape of a pretzel.  Place onto the parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 or 2 at a time, for 30 seconds.  Remove from the water with a slotted skimmer and return to the baking sheet.  Once all the pretzels have been boiled, brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Bake in the preheated oven until dark golden brown, about 12-14 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

The roasted garlic hummus however was a completely different story. It tastes awesome and it came out smooth. However, I was very confused with the directions. It could have been because I felt overwhelmed, and did not feel that I had enough time. My blender worked very well for this recipe. I only used 1 and a half of the garlic puree because it was very strong.


Roasted Garlic Hummus

Ingredients:
2 heads garlic, intact
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup water
6 tbsp. tahini
1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Remove the papery outer skins of the garlic heads, leaving them otherwise intact.  Chop off the top quarter of the head so that all of the cloves are exposed.  Wrap the garlic in foil and bake until very tender, about 1 hour.  Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the sliced garlic cloves and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the cooking oil.  Set aside.  Once the roasted garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves from their skins (you should have about ¼ cup).

In a small prep bowl, combine the lemon juice and water.  In another bowl, whisk together the reserved garlic cooking oil and the tahini.  In the bowl of a food processor, process the chickpeas, the roasted garlic puree, the remaining clove of garlic, salt and cayenne until the mixture is finely ground, about 20 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the machine running, add the lemon juice-water mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream.  Scrape down the bowl and process for an additional minute.  With the machine running, add the oil-tahini mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream.  Scrape down the bowl and continue to process until the hummus is smooth and creamy.  Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, top with toasted garlic slices and minced fresh parsley, if desired.

Notes about sources : I got these recipes off of Annie’s eats. They are from different websites which are stated below.

Sources:

Annies Eats. http://annies-eats.com/

Brown, Alton. The food network. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/homemade-soft-pretzels-recipe/index.html

Cooks Illustrated. http://www.cooksillustrated.com/

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