Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Grand Attempt to Re-Create Auntie Anne Pretzels

I'm a pretzel lover. It's my one weakness. Frugality gets thrown to the wayside when I walk past an Auntie Anne's stand in the mall (I can actually smell it from the front door now, however, now that I'm preggo). I always cave in and buy a pretzel. Or Two. Or Three. Ok, just two, but I usually really want a third, though the guilt factor finally stops me from rashly offering my debit card to be swiped again.

Just the mention of an Auntie Anne pretzel conjures up images that make my mouth water. I really wanted one today after a friend mentioned it on facebook. But the closest mall is 15 miles away, and even though I am probably crazy enough to drive that distance just to get a piece of heaven in my mouth, I'm not that obessed. (OK, maybe a little...)

So I did what any sane, frugal and pregnant housewife would do- I googled the recipe. After hubby and I made a quick run to the grocery for a pound of real butter and a case of course salt, I was ready for my first attempt.

Things started out well. I decided to make the dough in my bread machine using the dough setting. But, by accident, pushed the basic setting instead. Oops. I managed to take the dough out just in time before it started actually baking it, so I think it was ok. Even if it did come out with steam, all stuck to the bottom of the pan like a mound of mashed potatoes.

Rolling the dough into the pretzels shape was the funnest part. Except, hubby got a bad piece of dough and continued to struggle making a snake shape in deep frusteration. I coaxed him into trying another piece, but not before he had chucked the bad dough against an unsuspecting wall.

By the time the pretzels were baking in the oven, I thought I had really failed. We would have to start all over again with new dough and wait another hour for it rise. When smoke started creeping out from the oven door, I panicked and took the pretzels out. They were a little burnt on the bottom and resembled nothing like an Auntie Anne pretzel. Sigh. Maybe next time.

But, just to be sure, I rolled one in melted butter and topped it with salt to give to hubby to taste.

"Mmmm. Not too bad," came his muffled reply.

I tried one myself, and to my astonishment, the pretzel was pretty good. Not quite Auntie Anne, but VERY close. I mentioned that they tasted liked an overcooked Auntie Anne pretzel (you know, the kind you get when they're really busy). And that, my friends, is always better than no pretzel at all.


Olivia said...

Do you know about Auntie Anne's free pretzel days? I think the next one is Feb. 20th. Check their website for details. I think that is super cool!
But I also opt for the homemade whenever possible. Pretzels are not easy! Good job!
Happy Frugal Friday!

Rachel said...

Olivia, I had no idea about the free pretzel days! I am marking my calender as I type this...

ginger and june said...

What! Free Pretzel Day? NEVER knew about this. INCREDIBLE! Thanks, Olivia.

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