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Posts Tagged ‘bread’

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There are days when I am craving for something, and I can’t get it off my mind until I finally make one.

Such was the case when I had a serious craving for breadsticks. And not just the typical boring and dry breadsticks, I wanted mine herby, garlicky, soft and moist breadsticks. Problem was, I didn’t have a recipe.

A quick YouTube and Google search led me to a lot of recipes, ranging form simple ones to complex recipes, but one recipe stood out – Laura Vitale’s. Hers was simple, and all her ingredients were available in my pantry. Plus, it included Italian seasoning which I looove (and I have an excessive amount at home) 🙂

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I’ve always been a fan of Laura, so I was excited to try her recipe. So with a few of my tweaks by instinct and uhmm accident, here’s the finished product:

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Alton Brown has this little story to tell:  According to The History of Science and Technology, by Bryan Bunch and Alexander Hellemans, in 610 AD “…an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers. He calls the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the chest, ‘pretiola’ (“little rewards”)”.  Though there also other accounts on the origin of pretzels, most agree that they have Christian backgrounds and were invented by German monks.

Living in the province, the only pretzel I knew then were the Jack ‘n Jill chocolate-covered pretzel sticks. A staple in our canteen, I’d always buy one (when there’s extra baon) during snack time. Moving to Manila for college, I was then introduced to Auntie Anne’s and got semi-obsessed with them. Again, when there’s extra baon, I’d always get some.

This semi-obsesion led me to search for various recipes. Of course, I first tried those claiming to be similar to AA’s. Some yielded great results but mostly were disappointing. Most often than not, I’d end up with great-tasting pretzels that would harden after a few hours. I’ve also tried making a caramel sauce to go with it, similar to that of AA’s.

Going back, I’ve realized that along with brownies, pretzels were actually the first few treats I ever baked.

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It must have been fate when I caught an episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats featuring these German treats.  His scientific approach to baking pretzels helped a lot. Learning a lot from that episode, I finally gave up on my Auntie Anne’s quest and settled with his recipe which personally, is way way better.

These pretzels have a crunchy outer skin with a soft bread inside. Dipped in mustard and paired with a cold cold drink, this is probably among my favorite comfort foods. With a minor tweak,  here’s my recipe.

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