Immediately after sharing with you my desire to cut the carbs and rely more on protein, I publish a bread recipe. Am I an incoherent person or just someone unable to stick with plans? Both, possibly. However, in the fabulous virtual world of my blog I can afford to be a person that eats a little of everything. A person with a good level of balance, at least when it comes to food choices but with all the possible exceptions
So when I write about my will to boost the protein content, I am NOT stating that my diet would be exclusively protein-based. I intend to re-balance the caloric support in favor of a better distribution of nutrients.
Recently many journalists have pointed out that the Mediterranean diet is disappearing to make way for a diet based on more inexpensive carbohydrates. The Italian diet would suffer as economic crisis strikes and many people would bake pizza and bread at home to save money. Just as I have always done in London and, lucky me, not because of financial hardship but simply to enjoy the rustic flavors and pleasure of Italian home cooking.
In contrast with the alleged choices of the Italians dictated by the crisis (but I struggle to believe my countrymen cannot afford veggies anymore), I set a limit on my bread and pasta intake to count more on veggies and grains. I reserve pizza for a place of honor on Saturday nights; I let bucatini pasta wait in my pantry while stocks of high priority ingredients last (but pasta is always ready to roll in a fresh tomato sauce whenever I want); I do not argue the importance of bread, because although the prayer “Give us this day our daily bread” may not hold true for everybody, it is THAT unique staple food that when fresh baked fills the space with THAT simply awesome aroma. Something I need to go for, once in a while.
p.s. If you have read my posts over the last couple of months you may have noticed that I am getting caught up in quite a few food trends. I can’t hold my curiosity. I shared with you my misadventure with cronuts and my take on ramen burger with pasta. This recipe is inspired by “The Pretzel Bun Trend” with a modified cooking technique particularly suitable to lazy people like me. If you are not that lazy then before baking, bring water and 3 tablespoons of baking soda to a simmer and cook the dough for about 1 minute. The soda solution will cause the crust to brown deeply.
Honey Pretzel Buns
- 1 package 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tbsp. honey
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 large egg beaten
- Warm the water in a saucepan until it's about 110 degrees – you don't want it too hot, or it'll kill the yeast and your dough won't rise properly.
- Transfer the warmed water to a medium bowl and sprinkle in 1 package active dry yeast. Stir in the honey and let the yeast sit for about 15 minutes. Add the flour, the baking soda and 1 teaspoon fine salt. Knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth - about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil another bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Shape into a ball, let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large baking sheet. Divide the dough into 6 pieces.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg and pour into a shallow bowl. Dunk the balls into the egg wash (both sides). Arrange each ball on the prepared baking sheet, and with a knife cut two deep slits in a cross. Sprinkle with pretzel salt and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.