Thursday, April 26, 2012

I WAKE UP EVERY MORNING IN A BED THAT’S TOO SMALL, DRIVE MY DAUGHTER TO A SCHOOL THAT’S TOO EXPENSIVE, AND THEN I GO TO WORK TO A JOB FOR WHICH I GET PAID TOO LITTLE, BUT ON PRETZEL DAY ... WELL, I LIKE PRETZEL DAY:  And today, friends, is National Pretzel Day, and if you're in the Philadelphia area there are free soft pretzels available all over the place.

[I somehow snagged a card entitling me to a free pretzel every day in May; I can see the pros and cons of this.]

related: French's would like people to use mustard in more places.


  1. lisased10:43 AM

    I am a pretzel purist. I've never been a fan of yellow mustard on anything, but I do cook with powdered, dijon, and honey mustard. Last month, I made a dijon beer mustard from scratch that I am seriously considering canning for Christmas gifts.

    Speaking of Philly, can I threadjack for a minute? The husband and I are taking the kids to Philly for Memorial Day weekend. It's our first trip to the city; we are already planning on visiting Independence Hall and the Please Touch Museum and eating some cheesesteaks. Any other recommendations? Specifically, (1)  the best brewpub around and (2) any place/event that might distract an 11-year-old bookworm and an 8-year-old ball of energy.

  2. Joseph J. Finn10:55 AM

    Christina makes sure to get Philly pretzels when we visit her folks.  My taste is towards properly baked, crispy pretzels, so I just politely refuse them.

    And now I want a bag of Jays chips.

  3. I'll split this out into a separate post.

  4. Adam C.11:44 AM

    I generally do not have my soft pretzel with mustard, but on the rare occasions I do, I prefer a spicy brown.

  5. lisased11:47 AM


  6. isaac_spaceman3:50 PM

    In principle I agree with the statement that people should use more mustard (I like a good sinus-clearing spicy brown, preferably of the whole-seed variety, with my french fries) but yellow mustard in general, and French's in specific, is not mustard.  Yellow mustard is just unpleasant, period. 

  7. bill.5:30 PM

    Here's a recipe for Bavarian pretzels from a bread class I took at the Johnson & Wales, Charlotte campus. Same ingredients as their bagels. These are awesome. I've made them at home with hardware store lye. As long as it's pelletized and 100% lye it's fine. Or you could buy food grade lye (which was used in the class).

    bread flour 620g
    high gluten flour 620g
    cool water, 50F 740g
    instant yeast 7.5g
    salt 25g
    diastatic malt powder or bwon sugar 19g

    1. mix all ingredients. Very stiff dough that will lock most mixers, requiring to finish stretching by hand.
    2. Divide dough into 4oz cylinders, cover and rest 10-15 minutes.
    3. Shape into bagels/pretzels and stick in frig overnight
    4. Freeze for about 30 minutes
    5. prepare lye bath: 40 grams lye to 1 liter water (.4 % solution)
    6. Very quickly dip pretzels in lye (5-10 seconds), move to rack (5-10 seconds), move to baking pan lined with silpat or baking paper.
    7. bake 14 minutes at 375

    youtube: pretzel rolls

  8. Marsha12:41 PM

    I was actually thinking about this just last night. (Because I'm weird.) As a culture, we seem to be completely unbothered by the fact that pretzels become the pretzels we know and love by dipping them in a lye bath (that we do not wash off) but we completely freak out that our some of our meat is exposed to ammonia gas. Fascinating.