Pronunciation: \ˈe-pik ˈfāl\
Date: 21st century
1 : Unsuccessfulness of massive and sometimes catastrophic proportions. <As it turns out, the weapons of mass destruction never existed. EPIC FAIL.>
2 : The focus of many demotivational posters. <Octo-Mom: EPIC FAIL.>
3 : What I thought this recipe was going to be as I attempted to knead the dough flour. <The fate of the soft pretzels grew increasingly bleak by the knead. EPIC FAIL.>
The worst of it is, this recipe was intended to live up to my very blog title: The Knead for Speed. And yet the dough was dryer than the Sahara Desert! Shame on me for trying to modify a tried-and-true recipe with whole wheat flour. Shame on me for dishonoring all that is an Auntie Anne’s pretzel.
Miraculously, adding water (somewhere between 2 and 4 Tablespoons) helped save this recipe. I was still doubtful as I pitifully watched my ball of dough rise for an hour. It did grow some – a fact which gave me the hope and strength to continue on in my dough-y journey. Childhood echoed in my brain as I reminded myself to not judge a book by its cover. Who knows, it could still turn out to be delicious, right?
My skepticism was understandably great as I ripped off a piece to consume. I was tentatively delighted at the moistness of the pretzel’s interior. And as I popped it onto my tongue, bracing for the worst, each tastebud began to deliver an unexpected chemical message to my brain. Is that…deliciousness I detect? Deliciousness?!
This recipe, my friends, turned out to be an EPIC WIN.
For going from a seemingly EPIC FAIL to something wonderfully delectable and full of garlic flavor is, indeed, something deserving of the title EPIC.
EPIC WIN Garlic Soft Pretzels*
Adapted from Sugar Laws
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- pinch of sugar
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 Tablespoons Stevia (or sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil
- 3 Tablespoons baking soda
- 1 cup hot water (as hot as your tap gets, or heat water over stove)
- sea salt (optional)
- cooking spray
- Dissolve yeast into water with a pinch of sugar, let stand 10 minutes. The mixture should become creamy colored.
- Mix the yeast mixture with flour, Stevia, salt, garlic powder, and canola oil. Knead for 5 minutes. As you knead, add 2 Tablespoons of water in small increments to the dough. Add more water as needed.
- Once the desired consistency is reached, let dough rise in a greased bowl for approximately 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Once dough has risen, pinch off a handful and roll it out into a long strand. Set aside. Repeat with the rest of the dough, about 5 times.
- Once all the strands are rolled out, pick up the first one and stretch it out again (the gluten will have relaxed and it should stretch further now). Twist strand into pretzel shape and place pretzel on greased baking sheet. Repeat with all remaining strands.
- Dissolve baking soda into hot water and stir until dissolved. Quickly dip each rolled pretzel into the mixture and return to the baking sheet. Sprinkle all the pretzels with sea salt if you’d like. Spray each pretzel quickly with cooking spray. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until pretzels have browned slightly.
*Note: So deliciously garlic-y, they’re good for keeping away vampires and the like – including but not limited to Edward Cullen.