Baking soft pretzels, not as hard as you might think!

After a recent trip to Philadelphia, the land of soft pretzels, I came across the recipe for Alton Brown’s soft pretzels and figured it was a sign that I should make them. The technique is fairly straightforward, make the dough, let it rise, divide and roll it out, form pretzels, dunk in pretzel bath, apply egg wash, and bake.
The only change I recommend is to divide the dough into 12 or 16, instead of 8 if you don’t want enormous pretzels. I found it was easiest to hold the dough in the air and roll between my hands rather than try to roll on the counter.
The result was delicious and I will definitely make them again!
I also whipped up a batch of roasted poblano queso for a dip and highly recommend it.

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Who knew we had fig trees?!

Our new house came with a happy surprise. Three fig trees in the backyard! If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating a fresh fig, I highly recommend it, they are delicious. One of the fig trees is huge (for a fig tree at least).

That’s one giant fig tree.

 

Our giant fig tree has special powers. It makes giant figs! Most figs are small, maybe the size of a small lemon or so. This tree produced figs that were bigger than some of the largest apples I’ve ever purchased! Not all the figs get that big, but some of them do. Even its average size figs are large compared to other figs we’ve seen.

One ripe and some unripe figs on the branches.

 

When I went looking for ways to eat our figs, other than just eating them straight, many recipes were a variation of placing cheese on the sliced figs, broiling it, and then topping with something else. So combining a multitude of recipes we ended up eating our figs two ways:

  1. Broiled with goat cheese and then sprinkled with pistachio pieces and a drizzle of honey.
  2. Broiled with gorgonzola on top.

Both were quite good. You got more of the fig flavor with the goat cheese but more of a savory bite with gorgonzola.

Figs, ready for the eating!

 

Sliced figs on a foil lined pan

Topped with goat cheese prior to broiling

Figs topped with goat cheese and gorgonzola, ready to be eaten

 

Prepare yourself for more fig posts, those trees are loaded! Seems like they ripen in waves though so it might be awhile before our next fig culinary experience.

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