Friday, February 26, 2010

Soft Pretzel Recipe & Tropical Traditions Review

(GIVEAWAY ENDED)
 Have you ever heard of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil?  I had never heard of it until I saw Tropical Traditions products on another blog. This coconut oil can be used to replace unhealthy oils used in cooking.   At first I was afraid that the oil would cause the food to have a coconut taste.  This was not the case for me when I used it in my Anna Banana bread, Sweet Peanut Butter Bread and soft pretzel recipes.  The oil does have a clean, fresh, very light coconut smell and taste. The taste and  smell didn't carry over into the food I made. No one else seemed to notice either. Click, Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, to learn more about the benefits of this oil.  You can also watch the very informative video, click here, “How We Discovered Virgin Coconut Oil - An Interview with Brian Shilhavy, CEO Tropical Traditions.
 I found out too, that the oil can be used as a skin softener and to help reduce the appearance of scars.   I do agree on it as a skin softener.  We had the oil on our hands to grease the bowl for our dough. I rubbed it into my hands and several hours later and many washing they are still soft but not greasy. I have a few more recipes that I will be posting using the oil!
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Now on to the recipe!  I've always wanted to make homemade pretzels.  I was inspired by a recipe on the Tropical Traditions page.

Emily and I decide to make these pretzels for her Girl Scout troop.  Let me tell you friends, this was a super fun project! We had a lot of fun in the kitchen making these!  I hope that you try it, too!  We doubled the recipe.  I don't usually do this with a first time recipe but I needed quite a few for Girl Scouts and of course some for home! Do you already make pretzels??  If you have a different recipe please share!

Soft Pretzels
Preparation Time: 1 hour
 Pour water into the bowl of a standing mixer and stir in sugar and salt until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast on top but do not stir. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes, until the yeast begins to foam.

Add the flour and coconut oil to the yeast mixture. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Turn the speed up and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, around 4 to 5 minutes. 
 Remove dough from the bowl. Oil the bowl with coconut oil and place ball of dough back in. Lightly grease the top of the dough ball. Cover the top of the bowl with a damp towel and let sit in a warm place for approximately 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. *We made a double batch so we divided the dough into 2 bowls to rise. From previous experience with bread I find that this works to not slow down the time the dough will need to double. 
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Stir the water and baking soda together and bring to a boil in a large pot.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface lightly oiled with extra coconut oil and divide into 10 equal pieces.We divided the dough into 12 pieces.
Roll out into pretzel shapes and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and greased with coconut oil.
Place 1 pretzel at a time into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove with a large, flat spatula and place back unto lined cookie sheets. Brush with optional egg wash if desired. 
Bake until dark golden brown in color, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and serve with melted butter, salt, cinnamon sugar and other toppings/dips of choice.
Recipe courtesy Sarah Shilhavy

Check out my Banana Bread made with the coconut oil 

                      Sweet Peanut Butter Bread

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Check out this very interesting article, Full of Probiotics; Food Makes Fun Fuel Blog.
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