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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pretzel Challah Balls ~ victories

pretzel challah

i guess i should make it widely known (or as widely known as this blog readership is...) that i base a great deal of my cooking and baking endeavors not only on the usuals, like pantry staples, seasons, and palette desires, but also on success expectancy. i am a true believer that failure is an excuse to try again, that getting back on one's feet is not only an indication of character and moral fiber, but true grit.

rejection is a hard thing, it can be a siege to your confidence. there's a reason why you need to get right back on the horse if you fall off, cus if you don't then, you won't ever again.

i remember when i was a kid, maybe 6th grade? the cute boy across the street was skateboarding outside and offered to let me try. i fell, hit my face on the curb, broke my glasses and scabbed my knee. the right thing to do, after, you know, wiping the blood, making sure my face wasn't broken and grabbing my extra pair of specs, was to get back on the board, actually listen to him as he explained the intricacies of balance and all that stuff. instead, i pretended that i wasn't hurt, i took my broke ass, as well as my wounded pride, into the house where i got cleaned up. to this day, skateboarding is dead to me.

pretzel challah

my experience with pretzel making has been iffy. the first time i made it i was disappointed that my shaping skills were lacking. the 2nd time i made it was to serve chicken pot pie in it and while it tasted good, it certainly didn't taste like a pretzel. however, i got back on the proverbial saddle and tried again, this time pretzel challah, cus you know, why not add another challenge?

i like challah, because it is always dairy free, so therefore, angry asian friendly. this particular recipe was posted on the huffington post and i had to try my hand at it. i'm glad i did. the only things i did differently was i used bread flour instead of regular AP (very slowly but surely using up the last of my stash of gluten flours) and i broke down the steps into a two day process, shaping the challah and allowing it to rest overnight.

finally, victory was mine. i can now move onto something else. meanwhile this week our country was in the throes of election mania. to some people it was defeat, for others it was vindication, victory. regardless of party affiliation the fact of the matter is that women came out to be heard, Latinos showed their support, and the younger generation stepped up. that is victory. this was my 2nd time voting and i'm glad for the opportunity to do so.

pretzel challah

my other challah recipes:
chocolate challah ball ~ speaking of failures! i was so dramatic in this post...

27 comments:

  1. These pretzel balls look worthy to devour - a victory indeed!

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  2. Yum...i love pretzels and if I could make those balls.... Do you know of bread recipes that can be made without a stand mixer? or should I just get one and save my shoulder and arm from the pain of whipping? Hmmmm....

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    1. vinita,
      there are lots of no-knead bread recipes out there, google it or hit up the food porn sites like foodgawker.

      i love my stand mixer, i also love that dw has one too, so we have backup. having said that, bread making/baking was done for many many many years without the aid of machines. there have been plenty of times where i did not bust out the mixer and just sucked it up & it all by hand. it is doable and since you don't have one already, learn that first. try no-knead and graduate up. think of times when you lose power cus of a storm outside, you can still make bread dough and bake in your gas oven! i do recommend investing in a stand mixer eventually tho.

      another toy that i have handy is this dough whisk dw bought me. i love it. i once saw a king arthur bread making demonstration and the instructor used this in lieu of a mixer. it's fantastic to use for the first few steps and then as the dough gets thicker, use your hands.

      good luck!

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    2. Hey, it really helps to get your perspective on it. Yeah, I do know that I will eventually get it one day...coz i want it to make lovely icings and frostings apart from the fluffiest cakes. But i think its a great idea to start making breads by hand and then graduating to stand mixers. There were times when I used stand mixer recipes to make bread and failed miserably - the first time i tried to make focaccia. I love the dough whisk, gonna get me one! Will keep you posted on the breads...thanks again!!

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  3. You're pure awesome!(Love everything about this post.) Now I'm hungry for home made pretzels and some yeast redemption. :D

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  4. I made challah for the first time a few months ago and absolutely loved it! It's so savory and rich, and totally addictive. These pictures make me want to make another batch right now -- but I'll have to wait until the weekend do to so. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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    1. i hope you enjoy the recipe!
      i adore challah, it's something i should bake more often since it's so safe and pretty much fool-proof.

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  5. Oh my gosh, they came out beauuuutifully!! I want to see those on my dinner table! A true victory, I'd say :)

    P.S. That pumpkin challah recipe of yours looks amazing as well... I'm going to have to try it one of these days!! You seem to be a very skilled bread baker :)

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    1. thanks Christine! i hope either these or the pumpkin challah makes it to your table soon, especially for the holidays.

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  6. My gosh these look sooooooooo good!!! I love your story today and congrats on your victory!! You did it! :)

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  7. Congratulations you did an amazing job. I like your attitude of not giving up:) Your photos and balls look beautiful.

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    1. when it comes to cooking/baking, giving up is not an option. skateboarding is another story, as you can see...

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  8. Oh yum. What could be better? I love making french toast out of regular challuh, but this pretzel take is genius!

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    1. you know, i have yet to make french toast out of challah, i should... i love french toast. oh the possibilities!

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  9. Everyone needs a W now and then. Good for you! I so want to make this now but I fear my novice bread skills might need a bit more practice before I get there.

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    1. meg, just do it. it's a great way to just dive into the whole baking thing. and these cooler months makes for a great time to do some baking, keeps the muscles lean and the kitchens warm.

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  10. First - these treats look absolutely gorgeous. They belong in a bakery or on the table at a hipster restaurant.

    Also, sometimes when I'm looking at your gorgeous food, I picture DW sitting there with a foam board propped up against his head, and it makes me like the photos even more...

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    1. ok, seriously, a HIPSTER TABLE. effing hilarious, i am always making fun of anything hipster and what do i do? i make bread that could grace a hipster table. awesome.

      2nd part of your comment also made me laugh. oh the things i make that man do for me!

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