Monday, December 12, 2011

Are you mimicing me?


I learned something new this week.  There is in fact a difference between all-purpose flour, and bread flour.  Bread flour contains more gluten, which is good for bread, bad for pastry…so I did buy bread flour, with the intent to make a copycat recipe of Aunty Anne’s Pretzels.  So tonight, I’m hungry, and craving pretzels!

I am also adult enough to realize that pretzels are not to be considered a meal, so I’m also going to make another copycat recipe, Bourbon chicken.  Bring on the yum!

The pretzel recipe is fairly simple, no eggs, so you can taste the dough without fear, as if that has ever stopped me from eating dough!  Mix it up and let it rise!

I decided to spare everyone the raw chicken pieces, but I’m sure everyone reading this knows how to cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces.

I did not have the apple juice I needed for this recipe, which is why you should always double check that you have everything you need BEFORE starting to cook, in my case I had already started the pretzels and didn’t have enough time to run to the store and back before it was time for step two on that.

I substituted maple whiskey, watered down of course. 
 
Making a pretzel shape is quite simple.
Pinch off dough

Roll into a rope

Twist once

Twist twice

Flip twists down to form the pretzel shape

Dip in soda water

Place on greased cookie sheet

Bake

While the pretzels were baking the bourbon chicken was almost done, so I thickened the sauce, nuked some instant rice, and dished up a bowl of yum.

When they come out of the oven you slather them in melted butter and sprinkle on the coarse salt.
My lesson tonight, roll those ropes a lot thinner!!!  And when it says to grease the cookie sheet, use real grease, not pam.  Now to find the marinara dip and have a second serving of home cooking!

Bourbon Street Chicken
Ingredients       
2 pounds boneless chicken breasts; cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil; (1-2)
1 garlic clove; crushed
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch; (if thick sauce desired)
Directions
1.       Heat oil in a large skillet.
2.       Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.
3.       Remove chicken.
4.       Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium Heat until well mixed and dissolved.
5.       Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.
6.       Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve over hot rice and enjoy!

Auntie Anne’s Copycat Pretzels
Ingredients:
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 pkg.)
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    1 cup bread flour
    3 cups flour
    2 cups water
    2 tablespoons baking soda
    coarse salt
    2 -4 tablespoons butter (melted)

Directions:
1.       Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve.
2.       Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic.
3.       Let rise at least 1/2 hour.
4.       While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 tbsp baking soda.
5.       Be certain to stir often.
6.       After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope (about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape.
7.       Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet.
8.       Allow pretzels to rise again.
9.       Bake in oven at 450 for about 10 minutes or until golden.
10.   Brush with melted butter.
Toppings: After you brush with butter try sprinkling with coarse salt.
Or for Auntie Anne's famous Cinnamon Sugar, try melting a stick of butter in a shallow bowl (big enough to fit the entire pretzel) and in another shallow bowl make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Dip the pretzel into the butter, coating both sides generously.  Then dip  into the cinnamon mixture.
Notes: The longer and thinner you can make the dough rope, the more like Auntie Anne's they will be.