5am is my jam. My time to spend with my thoughts. I concentrate so well in the wee hours of the morning. I slide out of bed trying not to wake my hubby, though I know I always do. There is just something about this time that feels so comforting to me. One of the only times that my anxiety feels under control. The day hasn’t yet started buzzing with all of the stresses of the world and work and errands and just…everything. I leisurely sip my coffee, and catch up on notes for work. Then I slip back in bed in an attempt at a few extra snuggles before the day. Wyatt has almost always taken my place.
I recently added running into this morning routine. It is the only kind of exercise I ever kind of got addicted to. So I’m trying to get there again. I can tell you I am not there. Not even close. I hate it. Every second of it. But I am hoping that the enjoyment comes back. The fact that it is frigidly cold here may have a liiiiiitle bit to do with it.
I was so happy to wake up yesterday morning to remember it was my day off from running. Obviously the most logical thing to do with my extra time was to make bread dough.
I wanted to make something that resembled a soft pretzel but without all the work of the kneading the dough and dipping in boiling water before baking nonsense. This dough took about 5 minutes to throw together and I was able to hop back in bed for an hour while it was rising. Then just scoop and bake and devour. Warm cinnamon sugar soft pretzel bites for breakfast anyone?
I also sort of had game day/the Super Bowl in my head when making these. They are perfect finger food and you can do half savory and half sweet. If you want to make the dough the night before and keep it in the fridge over night that works too! Just bake them up right before serving. What is it about hot bread that just makes you lose all inhibition about stuffing your face? In fact, just make two batches.
I’ll be honest with you. I did force bread inhibition upon myself and only taste tested a couple. But good lord, these savory ones dipped in mustard and those sweet ones dipped in… my face. Hot/buttery/chewy/carby/deliciousness.
- 1 package active dry yeast (2¼ tsp if measuring from bulk yeast)
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 2 TBSP sugar
- ½ TBSP kosher salt
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- melted butter
- coarse salt
- Combine yeast and warm water in a large bowl or pitcher.
- Using a wooden spoon add in 1 cup of the flour and then the salt and sugar and mix until combined.
- Stir in the rest of the flour, one cup at a time, until completely incorporated (you may have to use clean hands at the end to get all of the flour mixed in).
- Cover with pastic wrap or a lid that is not shut completely.
- Allow to rise for 1 hour. (alternatively, store in the fridge over night and the dough will slowly rise)
- Do not punch down the dough.
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Lightly spray baking sheets.
- Use a small cookie scoop or floured fingers to pinch off rounds of dough and drop them on the sheet pans. (you can also use floured hands to roll out small bread sticks)
- For the savory pretzels, brush with garlic butter and sprinkle with coarse salt. For the sweet pretzels, bake before topping with butter and cinnamon and sugar.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Immediately dip the sweet pretzels in butter and cover with cinnamon and sugar.
- Serve hot.