Soft Pretzels, Weak Knots, and Awesome Flour

Ceci n’est pas une publicité.
— Amor and Baking
A nearly perfect pretzel is just what everyone needs in their life.

A nearly perfect pretzel is just what everyone needs in their life.

KingofFlours

I am absolutely in love with King Arthur Flour and their awesome website. I have tried making pretzels a few times now and they always end up very mediocre or like those awful soft pretzels you see selling in bags at the movie theatre. Not many of my friends bake and so I had nowhere to turn so I had completely given up on soft pretzels until I just happened to see the King Arthur Flour Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels recipe on the top of their popular recipe list. And since this blog is as much about me learning to bake as anything else I have to share how important the King Arthur Flour website has become to me. While my mom and grandma are amazing cooks neither of them are bakers and rarely have solutions to problems that arise in the kitchen for me. Cue King Arthur Flour: they have a Baker's Hotline and Chat feature right on the website. Amazing!

On to the pretzels, I used my stand mixer and the whole process was an absolute breeze. Other recipes I tried overcomplicated everything and I think from now on when I want to make something I am unfamiliar with I will just stick to King Arthur Flour.  Because these pretzels turned out so amazing. I play fast and loose with uniformity and rarely follow directions to a T, but all six of these guys and their little pretzel bite buds still turned out perfectly.

All jokes aside this was not paid for by King Arthur Flour. I just can't think of any other way to share my gratitude for what they do and all my friends are sick of me talking about it. 

Irish Wheaten Bread

Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on.
— Mrs. Doyle, Father Ted
wheatendough

Let me start off by first saying this is the second best thing to come from Ireland, after my husband, but a very close second. I have to say from experience after a night out with friends nothing is better in the morning than toasted wheaten bread with cheese or better yet in a full Ulster Fry, but I will save that for another day. 

This bread is delicious and wheaty and so rich, and more importantly so easy to make. 

Sift all your dry ingredients (grate or cut your butter in until it blends in with other dry ingredients) into a large bowl and create a well in the center. Then pour in all your wet ingredients and mix it all together until everything is moist. Then knead the dough on a floured surface for about a minute. Now take your dough and either put it in a loaf pan or just leave it to free form. Cut a cross into your free form or a long line the length of the loaf. Then brush a small amount of buttermilk and sprinkle with the oatmeal of your choice. I am fairly sure this last step is unnecessary, but I have never seen any wheaten bread without it so why ruin a good thing? Bake for 30 minutes at 400°F for 30 minutes then drop the bread to the lower rack and bake for another 30 minutes at 350°F . The goal at the end is to have a nice hollow sounding loaf when you knock on it.

irishwheatenbread

Once your loaf is cool slice it up and enjoy (it is best toasted and it is crumbly). It is delicious with cheese, butter, soup, really almost anything. And to get the real authentic Irish experience imagine Mrs. Doyle and Father Ted pushing you to have a second slice. 

1 cup bread flour

2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 butter

2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

buttermilk to coat outside of loaf and oatmeal for sprinkling

Strawberry Chocolate Cake

Today was National Chocolate Cake Day so I decided to partake either because I wanted a slice myself or because I fell victim to the marketing ploy. So who is behind this holiday? Big Chocolate? Big Baking Supplies? We may never know. The Truth is Out There and clearly I have been caught up in the X-Files reboot frenzy and feel very conspiratorial this week. 

drip cake

I decided to keep it simple and make a basic strawberry-nutella filled chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream frosting and glaze on top. 

pacmancake

Hello, World!

I sat on this blog for a year while I came to terms with the fact I do indeed want to be a blogger. I want to share my cakes, travels, crocheting, and miscellaneous other disasters with everyone. I am inspired by the places I am from, have been and will visit one day. I would love for you to join me on this new adventure!

amor and baking logo
amor and baking in progress