A year or so ago I had a gig as a professional organizer. I am a very organized person but not specifically trained in professional organizing. I am trained as a psychotherapist though, which helps immensely in the world of organizing. By now you probably know that our hoarding and clutter are psychologically linked. Sometimes it is of course sheer is laziness but most of the time- especially when it is chronic and pervasive to your life- it is psychological.
People often ask me how I keep up with stuff and stay organized. There are many answers to that question. The first is that I was raised by parents that were super organized. That is not to say they did not hoard certain things- they were just pretty organized about it. The second is that I feel out of control when my place is a mess and conversely when I feel out of control my place gets messy. The third is I am afraid of getting bugs. I have it set in my mind that I can be bugless if I keep the place cleaned. The fourth is that I like to get rid of stuff from time to time. It makes me feel accomplished.
My system is this, when piles form on my desk, I do not move the piles to another place, I get rid of the piles. Same with other areas.
What does all this have to do with pretzels? Absolutely nothing.
Here you go- an amazing recipe to make your taste buds happy.
1 1/2 cups warm water (110°F)
1 package instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup baking soda
large saucepan of water
1 egg, lightly beaten
In the bowl of a stand mixer mix the sugar, flour, salt, and yeast; mix with the dough hook. Add the water and melted butter. Mix for about 4 minutes. If kneading by hand- about five to ten minutes. When dough is smooth and elastic, move it to an oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Fold over and press down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Cut the dough into 18 pieces, roughly 2 ounces each. To shape, take a piece of dough and start forming a nice round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal.
Place, pinched side down, on the baking sheet. Leave about two inches between each roll. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes until doubled.
Preheat oven to 425°F and place oven racks on the lowest and middle positions.
In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Add the baking soda and lower heat to a simmer. Add a little at a time so it does not bubble up on you. Carefully put the rolls into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds then carefully turn the roll over in the liquid. Poach other side for 30 seconds then remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pans, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
With a pastry brush, glaze each roll completely with the lightly beaten egg making sure to coat all sides completely. Top each roll with a sprinkle of pretzel salt. With a sharp straight edged knife, cut a slash or “X” in the top of each roll.
Bake the rolls in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking – top to bottom, front to back – for even browning.