Life in the Farm Lane

2/24/2014 6:50 AM

With the mountains of snow and cold weather we have received this winter, I have become a big fan of comfort food. And one of my latest kicks are pretzel bread bowls and broccoli-cheddar soup. This is not a recipe for anyone looking to lose a few pounds, but it does hit the spot.

This and the broccoli cheddar soup recipes were my latest discoveries on Pinterest. I readily admit that not all recipes work out, but these two were definite winners.

As stated in an earlier blog, I have had a fear of yeast breads, so when I discovered a pretzel roll recipe that used my bread machine, it gave me hope of tackling this project.
The broccoli cheddar recipe used plenty of cans (three cheddar cheese soup and two evaporated milk) and frozen broccoli all tossed into the crockpot.

Both turned out and provided a pretty classy meal that looked like a lot of work. With just some basic baking skills, a crockpot and planning this will definitely return to the family meal plan rotation.

Have fun and enjoy!

The recipes are as follows.

Pretzel Rolls for the Bread Machine
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry active yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
coarse salt

Place the first six ingredients in bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer.
Select the dough setting and then press start.
After the machine has completed the second rising cycle, it will beep.
Remove the dough onto a very lightly floured surface.
Cut the dough into 18 pieces (2 ounces each) for small rolls, increase the size for larger bred bowls.
To shape, take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand.
Place the ball on the baking sheet pinched seam side down, with at least 1” between each roll. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes until doubled.
Preheat oven to 425°F and place oven racks on the lowest and middle positions.
In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Add the baking soda and lower heat to a simmer. Put the rolls into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds then carefully turn the roll over in the liquid. Poach other side for 30 seconds then remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pans, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
With a pastry brush, glaze each roll with the lightly beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides completely. Top each roll with a sprinkle of pretzel salt. With a sharp straight-edged knife, cut a slash or “X” in the top of each roll.
Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Five Can Cheddar Broccoli Soup
2 cans of evaporated milk
3 cans of cheddar cheese soup
1 large bag of frozen broccoli

Open cans of milk and soup and pour into crockpot. Add the frozen broccoli. Stir. Cook in crockpot on low for 5 hours or high for 2 to 3 hours.


-- Charlene Shupp Espenshade, special sections editor

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