I don’t know what it is about this phase of the pandemic, or maybe this part of 2021, but I feel like I’m baking a lot.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I’ve been wanting to make these for a while, but as usual in these pandemic days, I haven’t wanted to make a full recipe. And as usual in pre-pandemic days, I didn’t know how to share savoury bakes with my coworkers.
So instead of making eight as directed by Mary and Paul, I decided to make two.
Now I believe this is a twist on a classic pigs in a blanket recipe because my understanding is that traditionally they’re made with puff pastry. These, though, are made with pretzel dough.
But I also have made pretzels before, and I’ve always done them with a baking soda bath but this recipe makes no mention of that.
However, as always, I choose to trust Mary and Paul.
I figured if I made two pigs in a blanket, I could do a half recipe and then use the remaining dough to make a giant soft pretzel. This was the plan. (Spoiler: This did not totally go according to plan.)
First thing that went wrong is I bought the wrong yeast.
I recently made sourdough and used the remaining yeast I had in my home (which turned out to have expired six months ago), and when I was in the grocery store today, I completely forgot if I normally used traditional or quick rise. So I bought traditional.
I should have bought quick rise.
I realized this after I had dumped the yeast into the flour, and then had to scoop it back out of the flour to let it froth up in warm water.
But it seemed to work out, so I put the frothy yeast into the flour with the salt and sugar, plus lukewarm milk and got it mixing in the mixer.
I could have done this by hand. However, I recently made cookies for my mom’s dog (his name is Marley and he’s very cute) and those required kneading by hand and my poor carpal tunnel arms ached for days. I didn’t want to do that again, so I relied solely on the mixer this time. Even though it was a little funny to use the mixer for such a small amount of dough.
I placed the dough into an oiled bowl and let it rise.
Such a cute amount of dainty dough!
*half an hour later*
The dough looked puffy enough, so I dumped it onto the counter and divided it into four.
As I mentioned, I thought I’d get two pigs in a blanket and one giant pretzel. (Because who doesn’t love a giant pretzel?)
I rolled out the dough into four ropes, and started to wrap them around the Italian sausages (which had been brushed with Dijon mustard; it’s a very multicultural recipe). But then I had to use one and a half dough ropes for each sausage, which left me with just a wee amount for a cute little pretzel.
I left those uncovered for 15 minutes and then preheated the oven.
*15 minutes later*
With the oven preheated, I brushed the blanketed pigs with beaten egg and sprinkled sesame seeds (as the recipe told me to) and added extra salt (which the recipe did not tell me to but I love a salty pretzel), then I popped it into the oven and set the timer.
*20 minutes later*
I’ll be honest, I don’t really use sausage in my cooking that often. I do regularly use precooked farmer sausage that I keep in the freezer, but that’s not the same and doesn’t bring with it the same worries about undercooked meat.
I looked at the instructions that came with this Italian sausage and it said to cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, and at this point it had been cooking at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. The way math and temperature and cooking works, it was probably fine, but I just really didn’t want to have undercooked meat for dinner.
The pretzel wrapping however, was getting quite dark so I covered it with foil, dropped the heat to 350 and cooked it for an additional 10 minutes.
And then an additional 5 minutes just in case.
Yes, if you’re wondering, I regularly make overcooked chicken.
And I also do not understand people who have burgers that are pink on the inside. That grosses me out a lot.
Anyway, after all that, I assumed it was done.
And I was right! I had it with some very spicy Dijon and it was quite tasty.
As an aside, I find Dijon interesting because every jar of Maille Dijon is completely unique; some spicy, some not so spicy. It’s a lottery.
I felt bad just having this for dinner, so I’ve also been munching on baby carrots, but all in all, I’d call it a success. And it was actually pretty painless!
As you can see from a pretty short blog post.
Thanks for reading!