It's been a minute since my last Food Journal post. I have been baking quite a bit since then, but ya know, they were very much the traditional holiday foods.
For Christmas, my sister and her boyfriend gifted my mom Maldon Sea Salt Flakes which is quite coarse salt. What a better way to use them than on pretzels? I didn't assist with making the dough on these bad boys - all credit goes to my mother. However, I formed four pretzels and she formed four. Then I assisted with the egg wash and salt applying.
We took the idea from the recipe at Tasty and modified it: 1 TEASPOON salt (instead of tablespoon), 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast, 4 cups flour (more if sticky - but it was perfect for us), 3 tablespoons melted butter (instead of oil), 1/3 cup baking soda (instead of 2/3), no eggs in the recipe (versus 2 eggs, beaten), and we added 1-2 tables brown sugar. When you add the flour and melted butter, you also add in the brown sugar.
The soft pretzels were absolutely delicious.
Light Jelly Donut Bites (or as I like to call them, Muffnuts):
I'm lucky to live in a state where the winters are nice. For us, it's cold, but some winters are warmer than others, like this year. Because our winters are nice, for Christmas 2020, my parents, my grandparents and my uncle and I socially distanced with masks outside opening presents for a couple of hours. We mostly kept our masks on except when eating and drinking. We served coffee, tea, and hot apple cider, alongside pumpkin bread and jelly donut bites.
We made the muffin part the day before and on Christmas, we inserted raspberry jam and added powdered sugar. They were very light. You had to almost eat it right out of the muffin sleeve because the bottom stuck to it a bit. These muffnuts are actually called sufganiyot and originate in Israel and are eaten around the world for Hanukkah.
This was quite an undertaking - a tasty undertaking - but an undertaking, nonetheless. An undertaking that if practiced, I think will beat buying bagels at the bagel shop.
We made everything bagels (which I tried for the first time!) and sesame seed bagels, following the King Arthur Flour recipe. I was specifically excited to eat these bagels so I could pair it with whipped cream cheese, capers, and smoked salmon.
I definitely feel like this process is a two-person job and I applaud anyone that does it alone. My mother prepared the barley malt boil while I was creating a hole in the center of each bagel (which I had to get a ruler to make sure I was creating a big enough hole). She put four bagels in the boil/simmer at a time. My job after placing some of the bagels in the oven was to put egg whites on the bagels while my mother sprinkled everything bagel seasoning and sesame seeds.
The barley malt is definitely needed! The result of the bagels were delicious.