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onion soup and pretzels from scratch

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http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/11047

6 large onions (about 5 pounds), sliced thin
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 quarts beef broth
twelve 1/2-inch-thick slices of French bread, toasted
3/4 pound coarsely grated Gruyère

In a large kettle cook the onions in the butter over moderate heat, stirring frequently, for 40 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Sprinkle the onions with the flour and cook the mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the broth slowly, stir the soup constantly until it comes to a boil, and simmer it, covered, for 20 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Put 2 slices of the toast in each of 6 heated soup bowls, top each toast with 1 tablespoon of the Gruyère, and pour the soup over the toasts. (To serve the onion soup gratiné, arrange the 12 toasts on the bottom of a flameproof casserole, heap each of them with 1 tablespoon of the Gruyère and boil it under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.)

I made this with 2 onions, 4 cups broth (I used the fake-chicken version of Better than Bouillon) and a slice of toasted whole-wheat bread with a 3 taco cheese mixture melted on top.

I am currently making these pretzels, shaped like nuggets rather than real pretzels, and with baking soda in the boiling water:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/109221

1 tablespoon sugar
1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pretzel salt*

Special equipment: parchment paper

Stir together sugar, yeast, and 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (105 to 110°F) in a glass measuring cup, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Whisk together 3 1/2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon table salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Dust work surface with 1 tablespoon flour, then turn out dough and knead, gradually dusting with just enough additional flour to make a smooth sticky dough, about 8 minutes. (Dough needs to be somewhat sticky to facilitate rolling and forming into pretzels).

Return dough to bowl and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. Using your palms, roll 1 piece back and forth on a clean dry work surface into a rope about 24 inches long. If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust them with flour. Twist dough into a pretzel shape. (Dough will retract as you form the pretzel.)

Transfer pretzel with your hands to an oiled baking sheet and form 7 more pretzels in same manner with remaining dough, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart.

Let pretzels stand, uncovered, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a wide 6-quart pot of water to a boil.

Using both hands, carefully add 3 pretzels, 1 at a time, to boiling water and cook, turning over once with tongs, until pretzels are puffed and shape is set, about 3 minutes. Transfer parboiled pretzels to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining 5 pretzels in 2 batches.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and oil paper, then arrange pretzels on sheet. Brush pretzels lightly with some of egg and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Bake until golden brown and lightly crusted, about 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes, then serve warm.

Cooks’ notes:
• Dough can be mixed and kneaded in a standing electric mixer fitted with dough hook.
• Pretzels are best the day they are made. (When they are kept overnight, salt may dissolve.)

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Written by orata

January 20, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Posted in recipes

Tagged with ,

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