Friday, October 10, 2014

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Soft Pretzels

I've made soft pretzels before. I've been wanting to bake something pumpkin-y that wasn't pumpkin bread, muffins, or cookies. I often feel like my most creative recipes are born at night right before I go to bed. See, this is when I have the most creative cravings-- right when I'm about to go to sleep and can't make them. Does this happen to anyone else?

Anyway, I usually ask Austin to write my recipes down in his phone so I won't forget about them. I thought of this one about two weeks ago. I had to do some recipe research, because I wanted to make sure these were good. Cinnamon can prevent yeast from rising, so I had to figure out exactly how much I could add so it would still rise, but have enough cinnamon flavor. Also, I don't like when soft pretzels are bagel-like. I don't want my soft pretzels to have rubbery texture!

These are dang good, y'all.

You can make the dough in a bread maker, using a stand mixer, or kneading by hand.

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Soft Pretzels

Yields: 12 pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 cups hot water
2 tsp baking soda

3 tbsp butter, melted
5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Cream Cheese Dipping Sauce
3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla


Bread machine: Put all ingredients in the bread machine in the order prescribed by your instruction manual. Let it knead the dough and rise ONCE until doubled in size, then remove to shape.

Mixer or hand: Combine water, yeast, and brown sugar. Let the yeast active for about 5-10 minutes. Add the remaining dough ingredients and knead with a dough hook for 4 minutes or by hand for 6 minutes, or until it springs back when you gently press your thumb into the dough.

To shape: Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll into a 18"-20" snake. Shape it as a pretzel. Watch this video for more information.

To soak: Combine the water and baking soda. Quickly dip each pretzel into the hot water and baking soda mixture for about 3 seconds, then place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silpat.

To bake: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Let your pretzels rise on top of the oven as it heats up, about 20 minutes. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, or until the tops begin to turn golden.

To top: Brush the melted butter on the hot pretzels, then sprinkle with combined sugar/pumpkin pie spice mixture.

To make the dipping sauce: Beat all the ingredients together.

After the soak, before rising

After baking, before butter/cinnamon sugar

Happy October!

Here are some other recipes you may like: 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread

Yup. That's right. Pumpkin. Cheesecake. Bread. It has the best of all worlds.

I mixed this recipe up a little bit. This is my favorite pumpkin bread recipe. I love it! I found this recipe years ago. It's called "Pumpkin Pie Bread." This bread tastes like pumpkin pie, people. Pumpkin pie. In bread form.

Also, I'm kind of obsessed with cheesecake swirls, so I added one of those. Delish.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread

Yields: 2 loaves (either 8x4 or 9x5-- I did one of each!)

Pumpkin Bread Batter

3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup veggie oil (or canola oil)
4 eggs
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin purée
1/2 cup water

Cheesecake Swirl

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease two loaf pans (8x4 or 9x5 will work perfectly).

2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.

3. Beat together in a large bowl (a stand mixer works well) the sugar with the veggie oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each egg. Add the pumpkin.

4. Add the dry ingredients slowly alternating with the water. Mix until combined.

5. Beat together the cheesecake swirl ingredients until smooth.

6. Pour a little more than half the batter between the two pans. Spread all of the cheesecake swirl batter in the two pans. Try to spread it out evenly, extending almost to the edges. Pour the remaining pumpkin batter on top and completely cover up the cheesecake swirl.

7. Bake for 55-70 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

8. Let the bread cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then remove them and let them finish cooling on a cooling rack. Store in plastic wrap.

Happy autumn! 

Interested in more pumpkin recipes? Click the pictures!