When you are attending a pretzel making class and the lady slips up by calling yeast an ‘living orgasm’ instead of a living organism you can just imagine how the rest of the class proceeded following such a racy comment. 😉
I was super excited on receiving an invite from Liza from books.books.books to go pretzel making at Briza Breads in Tableview and after spending the morning up to my elbows in flour I am happy to say the experience exceeded the expectations.
On arrival we were warmly greeted by our hostess Jeanette and her friendly Staffie. Our ingredients and utensils neatly packed out awaiting our arrival. Jeanette first demonstrated to us by using a pre-prepped dough how to divide the dough into 8 equal sections in order to make sure that all the pretzels are more or less the same size.
After showing us how to properly knead and roll out the dough in yay long pieces and folding the pretzels with a lot of hilarious commentary accompanying the process she left it out on the counter to ‘rest’ while we returned to our workstations to now attempt the same results.
Of course I proved within the first ten minutes that my attention span was like that of a gnat and I just chucked ALL the flour in at once instead of little by little…..I got lectured (kindly so ;)) on the flour to water ratio whilst I proceeded to knead myself to a close stupor trying to get the ball of dough softer…..my defense is that someone had to show them NOT how to do it. :p
We covered our balls of dough in some lovely fresh olive oil and put in in our containers to take home….yes, I still have to go bake mine tonight…I am sure the kids won’t let me get out of it!
Jeanette now showed us how to give the fully rested pretzels a warm water bath ‘infused’ with some bicarbonate of soda. 30 seconds on each side with Liza avidly watching the clock to ensure we don’t go over the 30 seconds which with all the goings on and joking around easily could have happened.
After their hot water bath and after being coated with some egg and covered with coarse salt and sesame seeds the pretzels went into the pre-heated oven. Whilst waiting Jeanette boiled the kettle and set up for some coffee whilst we awaited to taste the fruits of our handiwork so to speak. And what a treat that was. NOT ashamed to say I polished off two pretzels dripping with butter and a very delicious cream cheese mix. I think I heard, cream cheese, herbs, double cream yoghurt and a tad of mayonnaise if I remember correctly.
Learnt today: Yeast is a living orgasm…..scratch that….organism, when mixing your ingredients make a blanket for the yeast with the flour, give the pretzel a hot bath before baking, oh and last but not the least fold your pretzel with it’s ‘legs’ open so to speak. 😉 Follow these steps and your pretzels should be a roaring success!!
One of the many high points of today was on the way back when Liza and I heard a pop in the back of her car and we realized it was the dough that expanded so much from the heat that the lid of the container popped off!
All in all today was an experience that would definitely need to be repeated some time soon in the future! Briza Breads Rock!!