Saturday, November 18, 2006



Happy Thanksgiving.

Just had to share this cutest
and most accidental picture with you.

This is Herky the last of the foster kittens remaining in our home. Her brothers and sister left for their furever homes this morning. When I snapped this picture I had no idea that this yawn was about to happen, perfect timing.

I am really looking forward to the Thanksgiving break next week - I have three days off. I am planning to make some of Bryanna's stuffed seitan roasts, I have tried a new one each year for the past three years now. The roast is awesome and I think that I like last years sun dried tomato stuffing the best. I just read that she is planning on coming out with a wheat meat cookbook. Even though I have made most of the recipes that will probably be in that book (as a long-time Bryanna fan), I am excited and will get one anyways.

Here is the recipe that I used for the
Vegetable oil spray
1 pkg. quick rise instant yeast (comes in 3's to be cut apart)
1 1/2 C hot tap water
4 cups unbleached organic all purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar (we used unrefined)
3/4 tsp sea salt

1 egg beaten (vegan solution: 1 tsp. corn starch stirred into 2 Tbsp water) to brush on top to keep the coarse salt/ cinnamon sugar / garlic & poppy seed, etc topping attached). This gets brushed onto a the pretzel before it bakes.

Topping choices to sprinkle on top of pretzel:
Course salt
Poppy seed
dried minced onion or garlic
sesame seed
course sugar and cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
2. Lightly spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil (Additionally, we sprinkled our oven sheets with coarse cornmeal which will stop the breads from sticking even better).
3. Dissolve the yeast in hot tap water (between 90 - 105 degrees F). *
4. Add flour, sugar, and salt; mix until dough is formed. Add a small amount of flour if dough is to sticky; add a small amount of water if dough is to crumbly or dry. Dump mixture onto a bread board or a kitchen counter and begin kneading, set timer and knead for 8 - 10 minutes. (see not below about flour)
5. Divide dough into 12 equal sections.
6. Roll each piece into a rope; roll and twist the rope pieces into desired shapes, such as pretzels, alphabet letters, etc.
7. Place pretzels on prepared baking sheet.
8. Brush with beaten egg (or vegan solution mentioned above). Sprinkle with topping desired.
9. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, or until golden brown. When the pretzels go into the oven spray the bottom of the oven with a water mister to create a steam, although this step is not required I personally think that it is beneficial.

*If the water is to hot it will kill the yeast, to cold and it will not rise correctly. You can use a thermometer to test the water temperature.

NOTE: DO NOT add to much flour, the dough will seem wet at first, but as it is kneaded it will begin to firm up. If making these by hand, during the kneading process flour your hands instead of the counter because you DO NOT want to keep adding the extra four in, you just want it to keep from being overly sticky to your hands. The extra flour will make them seem dry and tough soon after baking which is a problem with the baker, not the recipe. I had five groups make these and each pretzel came out a little bit different, the group who did not take my word about the flour was the least happy with the pretzels.

We completed making and eating these pretzels during a one hour six minute class.
This recipe came out of a (c) 2006 high school Foods class enrichment lab book. An actual mall pretzel has quite a bit more oil added or butter / margarine which will make a small difference with the texture. The picture above is actually some pretzels that I shaped using a pumpkin dough leftover form a braided bread that I prepared for a church meal last night. It is sprinkled with poppy seed.


JAM*tacular said...

These remind me of "pretzel day" at school. The PTA sold pretzels once a week after school and I always looked forward to it. Yumm!

:) Mikaela

Megan the Vegan said...

Hi Dori...great to see you back at it in the kitchen. Those pretzels look fantastic! I'm looking forward to Bryanna's new cookbook too. I have her Chinese book and it is fantastic. It has some of her mock recipes, but I look forward to more of the non-chinese variety.

Vivacious Vegan said...

That picture of Herky is hysterical! I'm glad that you'll be getting a bit of a break soon and hope that you are able to relax and enjoy your time off.

theONLYtania said...

Cute kitttyyy! Hmm I'm going home on Wednesday for Thanksgiving break and I've been thinking of things to make while at home. This seems like a fun project!

laura jesser said...

Thanks so much for sharing that recipe! I've had big soft pretzels on my mind for a good long time now. I'm going to make these for sure, as soon as I can!

I'm so glad you decided to snap that picture at that exact moment--that's priceless.

erica said...

Herky lives up to his name :D

Gaia said...

That is one cute picture !
I so wish I could snap one of our bunny friend when she yawns ! The cutest thing ever :)

Thanks so much for the recipe !
Looks beautiful and delicious. You must be such a wonderful teacher :)

Vicki said...

awww, that kitty photo is so perfect & your timing is amazing! mmm, boy! on those pretzels, dori, they look so delicious. hey, did i mention that i moved before? hope you'll update & visit when you get a chance. happy thanksgiving to all harveys - have a wonderful day. :o)

Johanna3 said...

cute cat! thanks for the recipe. glad to have you back.

Shananigans said...

Hi Dori! Congrats on getting all those foster kitties into good homes, you must be so thrilled. That big yawning face is too cute, someone will snap that last one up right quick.

A seitan roast sounds divine. I was reading through one of Bryanna’s recipes for one a while ago and it sounded great, but considering my kitchen things along with all of my other stuff is still MIA I guess it’ll have to be a frozen Quorn “turkey” roast for me this year. Ah well, at least I’m not flying in this year so I can bring my own “turkey” and gravy and not have to subsist on mashed potatoes alone as usual. Thanks for the pretzel recipe, I love soft pretzels! I’ll have to try that when my kitchen is up and functional. I miss cooking and baking :( Happy T-givin'!

Urban Vegan said...

What a cutie.

And my, what BIG pretzels you've made. They look so big that I'm surprised the kitty did not curl up on one to take a nap.

Catherine said...

If I was closer by, Herky could come to my house furever! What a sweetie.

Also, so sorry to hear about Pup -- what a sad time.

Your seitan roast sounds delish -- I have been thinking I need to venture into the land of seitan sometime very soon!

bazu said...

Oh my gosh, that is the cutest kitty picture I've seen in a long time! Congratulations on finding homes for all these babies!

And, oh my gosh, a pretzel recipe! I've never made my own before, but I'm getting more and more into baking, so I really appreciate this recipe. I think I'd pick a cinnamon sugar topping- mmmm.

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jackie said...

What a great picture of Herky :D

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy your days off.