When my friend Jill proposed baking cupcakes or something together in lieu of exchanging Christmas gifts, I asked if we could make pretzels. Rarely am I so decisive, but they’ve been on my to-bake list and I know that she likes to bake bread, too. (Also, we made cupcakes for my 30th.) This ended up happening on New Year’s Eve at the house of our friends Julie and Andrew in San Antonio. They were having a party that evening, so it seemed like a good idea to do it all in one day.
The pretzel-making got off to a late start due to (my) poor planning and traffic, but it didn’t sound like they would take too much time. We were using Alton Brown’s recipe which looked pretty basic, but the first step of proofing the yeast seemed odd: he says to put the salt in with the water, yeast, and sugar. Our yeast didn’t get very foamy, so we were worried the salt killed it, but went ahead anyway and let the dough rise while we ate dinner. Continue reading