Monthly Archives: February 2014

roasted butternut soup and soft pretzels

roasted butternut soup and soft pretzels

This recipe is from King Arthur Flour with some modifications.  I make my dough in a Kitchen-aid mixer with a dough hook.  I do finish the kneading by hand.


2 tsp instant yeast,  1 Tbs sugar, 1 cup warm water (100-105 F),  3 cups unbleached bread flour, 1/4 cup ground flax seed (optional, I like the taste and it’s good for my heart) , 1 Tbs olive oil (melted butter or any oil will work), 1 tsp salt


5 Tbs warm water,  3 tsp sugar,  2 tsp baking soda

Toppings: (optional)

pretzel salt or pearl sugar or cinnamon-sugar and melted butter.  I just sprinkle with sea salt.

Whisk together water yeast and sugar.  Add remaining ingredients and mix at low speed until dough is smooth and slightly sticky.  If it is too dry add cold water 1 Tbs at a time.  Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface, form into a ball. Place into a bowl with 1-2 Tbs olive oil and roll-around till ball is coated. Cover bowl with dish towel and let rest in a warm spot about 30-40 minutes ( dough should double in size).

Deflate dough (punch it), on a lightly floured surface Divide into 8 pieces.  Roll each piece into a 20″ rope. Shape each rope into a pretzel.

Mix together Wash (water, sugar and baking soda) in a shallow bowl.  Carefully dip into wash flipping to coat all. Place pretzels on to a backing sheet ( I lightly sprinkle sheet with corn meal).  At this point if I remember I sprinkle with sea salt.  They may be placed into a preheated 400 F oven now,  I like to let mine rest before I bake them for 10-20 minutes to get a softer pretzel.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 12- 15 minutes until golden brown.  Remove and brush with belted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar ( I don’t do this).

This part might not be good for my heart, but it tastes SO GOOD.  I melt a half stick of butter to dip my warm pretzels in.  These are great with any soup.



I would like to report that none of our chickens are wearing “saddles”.  The bare spots that Jack has caused the ladies have filled in with new feathers and they are all looking good.


collard greens hung on a wire

collard greens hung on a wire

The ladies have been very consistent with their egg production averaging better than 4 eggs per day from five hens. Until this year, For the month of January they averaged less than 3 eggs per day and February is looking the same.  I have had one day this year that I got 4 eggs.  All of the other days have been 3, 2, or 1.  They are approaching their 2nd birthday, we think 2 of them were going through a molt and it has been a little cold around here. Maybe they are just on strike because they don’t get to free-range as much.  With this last snow they won’t leave their run if we opened it.  Our chickens are spoiled and as such we will keep them and feed them and care for them even if they aren’t laying as many eggs.



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