Thursday, March 5, 2015

Auntie Anne's Pretzel Copycat

Have I ever tell you that Auntie Anne's pretzels are my family favourite !? We'll drop by the shop whenever we saw one but somehow only limited flavour available. Garlic butter, seaweed, cheese & cinnamon are some of our favourites. After my first attempt on pretzel bombs the other day, I now have more confidence in making my own pretzels at home.Auntie Anne's pretzel will definitely on my list and its a successful attempt indeed. I am blessed to have such awesome batch of homemade flavourful pretzels.

Ingredients for Pretzel dough :
1-1/2 cup   warm water
2 TB  sugar
2-1/2 tspn  yeast
4-1/2 cup  all purpose flour
2 tspn  salt
50gm   butter, melted

*for coating :
some salt
3 TB  nori flakes
3 TB  parmesan cheese powder
1/2 cup  cinnamon sugar mixture (with 1 TB cinnamon powder)

*Egg wash :  1 egg yolk mixt with 2 tspn milk
*50gm  butter, melted for coating 
*Ingredients for boiling pretzel dough :
4 cups  water mixture with 2 TB  baking soda

Method :
(1) mix together sugar, water & yeast and let to rest for 10 minutes then fold in flour, salt & butter to form a soft dough. Knead till smooth.
(2) place dough to working table and divide into 8 portions then let to rest for 30 minutes, cover with tower.
(3) at this moment, bring soda water to boil then lower the heat and let it simmering hot (not boiling). Get all the coating ingredients ready as well.
(4) now, roll out each piece of dough into a 24-26 inches rope, lay it on the working table then hold each end in one hand and make a U-shape with the rope, twist the end of the rope then bring it down to the bottom of the U in order to form pretzel.
(5) after completing two pretzel dough, drop one into the simmering water while you're about to make the 3rd one. Let dough stay in the hot water till you've completed the 3rd pretzel.
(6) now, bring out the hot pretzel dough onto kitchen tower then transfer to greased baking tray. Brush egg wash to dough then sprinkle on salt & topping as desired (for cinnamon sugar will have to go as final coating after baking, brush on some melted butter before coating).
(7) finally, bake at preheated oven 220'C for about 12 minutes or till golden brown.

I tried using the parchment paper on the first two baking but not really satisfying. Then I have to go without the baking sheet and straight onto the greased tray which works much better.

Cheese flavour pretzel is simply addictive. I think it going to be SOooo yummy with the extra dipping sauce like this one HERE.

And yet still seaweed is my favourite of all. Love the green thing so much ! Hope you guys will love it too !

Hereby, I would like to wish all readers a very happy Chop Goh Mei (Chinese Valentine's Day) and also the last day of the Chinese New Year ! Have fun guys !

Monday, March 2, 2015

Chili Pepper Cheesy Pretzel Bombs

A superb inspiration came from this site, The Slow Roasted Italian. I am totally into it. I bet you will saliva with just one look at those cheesy pretzel bombs too. Without waiting for long, I gather up the ingredients and started with the dough. Its an easy, simple & yet delicious recipe. It only took me an hour or so to complete the whole thing. A fabulous treat for the guests. I love especially the ooey gooey cheesy thing on this.

Ingredients pretzel dough :
2 tspn  yeast
one can (12oz)  beer (340ml  water)
2 TB  sugar
3-1/2 cup  all purpose flour
1 tspn  salt

Cheesy Chili Pepper Fillings :
1 cup mozzarella cheese, chopped
1 cup  cheddar cheese, chopped
4 green chili, chopped 
2 TB  crashed black pepper
(combined everything & mix well then set aside)

Ingredients for boiling dough :
3 cups  water
2 TB  baking soda

* Egg wash : 1 Egg yolk mix with 1 tspn milk

Method :
(1) combined together yeast, 1/2 cup  flour, beer and sugar into a big bowl, mix well then leave to rest for 10 minutes or till bubbling.
(2) then fold in the remaining flour & salt to form soft dough, knead a couple of minutes till dough became smooth, tacky but not too sticky. Otherwise, add in extra tablespoon of flour.
(3) place dough to slight floured working table then divide into 30 pieces each, roll into balls and set aside (for about 30 minutes).
(4) now, bring water & baking soda to boil then off the heat. At the same time, get the tray ready greased & lined with greaseproof /parchment paper.
(5) flatten each dough into round disk then fill in a huge teaspoon of cheese filling, carefully pull dough to seal. Make sure there's no leakage.
(6) after completing 3 filled balls, transfer filled balls into hot water and allow to set while you prepare the next 3 balls. Remove dough balls from water when ready and place them to prepared baking sheet. Then repeating the same thing till completed.
(7) Arrange dough balls onto baking tray lined with parchment paper, brush egg wash onto dough balls then sprinkle with salt.
(8) finally, bake at preheated oven 220'C for about 10 minutes or till golden brown.

Dough balls became yellowish after soaking into hot water mixture and it turns a bit solid on surface as well.

Most of my baked dough exploded after baking over high heat. Will troubleshoot later on..... since this is my first attempt ! I supposed its the running heat over the soda water mixture that I used.>o<  Should have shut off the heat.

I want more cheese into the pretzel balls. Oh Boy..... its so addictive !

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Chinese Version Steamed Glutinous Wine Chicken

We have a short break during this Chinese New Year and after a short visit to my parents' place & my mother in law's place, we finally heading back to our home sweet home. Ooo..... I missed my bed !  haha..... Guess, its time to cook for my family before my girl is returning to her University again soon. And this is one of the many dishes which has inspired me to give it a go, after watching the Chinese New Year TV commercial documented in China a couple days ago. Simple & yet easy to prepare. The gravy is very tasty and the chicken is tender as the white chopped chicken or poached chicken.

Ingredients :
1  free-range chicken (about 2kg)
350gm  ginger, partial skinned then finely chopped
2 cup  glutinous rice wine
or 4 TB  homemade red yeast wine paste (mix with 1 cup of water)
1 TB  salt
100gm  rock sugar, smashed

Method :
(1) rub salt into the chicken cavity then stuff in half of the chopped ginger.
(2) then place chicken to a plate or big bowl, pour wine onto the chicken then brush it all over to the chicken.
(3) sprinkle rock sugar & ginger onto the chicken and steam for 30 minutes then flip the chicken around and continue steaming for another 30-40 minutes or till cooked.

The preparation is ready to go into the steamer soon.

The gravy became so juicy & glossy by the chicken is ready after an hour. It looks just nice, not overly cooked. Otherwise, you will have problem chopping it. Leave the steamed chicken to cool off completely then cut into bite size. Preheat the gravy then pour it over the chicken and serve.

According to a Chinese chef from one of the culinary school in China, one chef is only allow to own one chopping knife and that is why they need to learn all the chopping & cutting skills with one knife. The higher level chef managed to cut a silky soft tofu into vermicelli shreds. You'll be amazed by their chopping & cutting skill !
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