Print Story Baking and stress
By ObviousTroll (Sat Feb 29, 2020 at 08:18:31 PM EST) (all tags)
So, on the upside I've managed to keep the weight off for 2 years now. That's 2 more years of success than I've had since college. 

I honestly don't know why I'm so stressed; objectively things aren't bad. Had some minor badness happen - hosting company's web server died but only two people were using the server... which left me rebuilding a collection of family photos for the Little Lost Lamb, which messed with my head but... the fact that she wanted them is a good thing, right? It's just sad.

I've been dealing with work stress by buying lego sets and putting them together with co-workers.

I took advantage of a trade up deal to convert a 6 year old action cam that I bought for drones into a big discount on a Hero-8 Black. Showed up today, but it's too cold to actually do anything with it, so I've been playing with it in the house and discovering things like how the camera has been out for 6 months but GoPro still hasn't updated their desktop software to work with it. On the other hand, the desktop software for Garmin's action cams will happily take the GoPro footage and blend it with Garmin bike computer data so you can, in theory, see what my cadence and heart rate was when I recorded the test footage. Fun.

Also fun, I spent from 6 AM till 1 PM in the kitchen today, baking sourdough soft pretzels and bagels. Haven't made the pretzels in a few years, and I've never tried to make bagels before, so of course I promptly modified the bagel recipe because I can't follow directions. SWHTL says they're scrummy though. Apparently that's good?
Pretzels Bagels
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Baking and stress | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden)
Lego by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat Feb 29, 2020 at 08:44:19 PM EST
I got the Space Station set a couple weeks ago. If I can find the right parts it could be modified into the Discovery from 2001.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

I love the final result but... by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #2 Sat Feb 29, 2020 at 10:00:17 PM EST
it was way too easy to put together. My cow orker suggested a site that sells Chinese knock-off Lego and we ordered a TIE Interceptor, TIE Fighter and an X-Wing. Only the Interceptor has arrived so far, but it took two of us 3 days to build (in between meetings and work).

I'm seriously considering repurposing an old camcorder hard case as a Lego box and taking to work the kids' old sets and the Mindstorms I bought last summer to work on with the nephew.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Pretzels look good by Orion Blastar (2.00 / 0) #3 Sun Mar 01, 2020 at 02:13:53 AM EST
I remember my mother had a recipe from Pillsbury to make pretzels. We had a fun time baking them.

Sam's Club has $1.59 Pretzels and Quik Trip has $2.59 Pretzels that taste good. They are made from scratch like a good soft pretzel should be.

I once dated a girl that worked at Auntie Anns. I met her in a adolescent psychiatric hospital and wrote her a letter. Later on after we got out she called me for a date. I lost her number or my brothers took it from my wallet. I never heard back from her and this was before caller ID and etc.

"I drank what?" - <a href="">Socrates</a&gt after drinking the Conium
Thanks. I’ve never been a fan of auntie Ann’s by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #4 Sun Mar 01, 2020 at 07:45:16 AM EST
 They use butter and sugar in their pretzels and while I know why that’s appealing, it’s not what I grew up with. These are actually dipped in a boiling baking soda mixture before baking.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
So you have healthier by Orion Blastar (2.00 / 0) #5 Sun Mar 01, 2020 at 09:11:13 PM EST
pretzels by dipping them in boiling baking soda mixture?

How does that effect the taste?

"I drank what?" - <a href="">Socrates</a&gt after drinking the Conium
[ Parent ]
It's hard to explain.... by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Mar 02, 2020 at 12:58:26 PM EST
I mean, the original recipe used boiling lye.

But basically, the alkali in the solution give the pretzels a tough skin, something like a bagel but chewier. (you dip the bagels, too,  by the solution isn't as strong.)

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
So it is crunchy? by Orion Blastar (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Mar 02, 2020 at 09:13:58 PM EST
As opposed to soft?

"I drank what?" - <a href="">Socrates</a&gt after drinking the Conium
[ Parent ]
Only if you cook it long enough. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Mar 04, 2020 at 12:13:18 PM EST
 Like I said, the idea is to have a chewy surface, like a traditional NY bagel.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I've had some soft prtezels by Orion Blastar (2.00 / 0) #18 Sat Mar 07, 2020 at 12:37:55 AM EST
that were crunchy like the Super Pretzels. I never had one tough like a bagel before.

"I drank what?" - <a href="">Socrates</a&gt after drinking the Conium
[ Parent ]
Not that tough. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #19 Fri Mar 13, 2020 at 08:00:59 PM EST
Bagels have a higher gluten content. 

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I'll make note of that by Orion Blastar (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Mar 13, 2020 at 09:28:55 PM EST
I used to eat bagels with the Bagel Factory when it was still around. Pizza Bagels, Blueberry Bagels, etc. Now they have EIstien's Bagels.

"I drank what?" - <a href="">Socrates</a&gt after drinking the Conium
[ Parent ]
Bagels are definitely another thing that's by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #21 Sat Mar 14, 2020 at 06:54:54 PM EST
intensely regional. To me, supermarket bagels are chewy, flavorless lumps compared to Philly bakery-made. Einstein bagels aren't too bad, but I also know New Yorkers insist that NYC is the only place in the country that has "real" bagels because of something in the water. (insert jokes here...)

Similarly, Philly soft pretzels seem to be a regional thing. I mean, it makes sense, the flavor and texture of bread is going to change from place to place when you're using wild yeast. As hard as I try I'm never going to be able to replicate San Francisco sour dough.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
In Thailand by Orion Blastar (2.00 / 0) #22 Tue Mar 17, 2020 at 09:49:32 PM EST
The Auntie Ann's pretzels were smaller and thinner. I guess the Thai people don't eat as much as we do or maybe it lowers the cost so the poor can afford it?

Ever have a Pretzel dog before? I have and it is better than a hot dog.

"I drank what?" - <a href="">Socrates</a&gt after drinking the Conium
[ Parent ]
GoPro by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #6 Sun Mar 01, 2020 at 09:13:20 PM EST
Don't get me started on their software.  I have a Hero-2 and I have to first load the software, wait til it loads, and then insert the SD card or else it just locks up.  Even with that once in awhile it just locks up.  I like the folder layout it does when it does it automatically, makes my time lapse script much simpler.

Yeah, I'm not thrilled with the software. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Mar 04, 2020 at 12:17:18 PM EST
I've had lock ups,  unexpected behavior, etc., and the /r/gopro on reddit seems to be dominated with the usual sort of sneering jerk that's so common on the internet. No useful advice, just lots of snark.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
so long as they are boiled by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Mar 02, 2020 at 10:13:05 PM EST
and you use malt syrup (or powder) -- that's a big part of both the bagels and pretzels.. (and using pretzel salt, not kosher etc.. )

The king arthur handout with sourdough has both on it, I think .. (if not, I can get you a link to how I make both.. )

Boiled yes, sweetener, no. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Mar 04, 2020 at 12:14:43 PM EST
Real pretzels are boiled in an basic liquid but no sweetener. Bagels, yeah, you add some sweetener. 

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
hmm.. by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #16 Thu Mar 05, 2020 at 02:39:03 PM EST
KA uses malt in the boil-water :

Though I add some to the dough as well.

Pretzels, they have you brush on before baking (but don't boil them):

(And the NON-diastatic is key .. don't use the diastatic powder .. Or, can use malt syrup too.. )

I've boiled pretzels before, but usually make breadstick-like twists (more of them, because they go fast .. ) and I don't boil the twists : they won't stay together like a pretzel will.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, I started with the KA pretzel recipe by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #17 Fri Mar 06, 2020 at 10:12:37 PM EST

people around here complained they weren't right.

For the bagels, this is my recipe right now. Haven't decided whether the molasses is staying in the recipe or not:

Modified from:


1 cup (8oz, 224g) active sourdough starter

1 1/2 cups (12 oz, 360 ml) warm water (about 100°F)

2 tsp yeast

4.5 cups (22.5 oz, 630g) unbleached bread flour, divided

1 tbsp molasses & 1 tbsp corn syrup OR 2 tbsp corn syrup

1 tablespoon table salt

1/4 cup (2 oz, 56g) granulated sugar (for boiling)
2 teaspoons baking soda (for boiling)

1 egg white, whisked lightly


    1.  Combine the starter, water, yeast and 2 cups of the flour in a mixing bowl. Mix to form a thick batter.

    2.  Cover the bowl and set aside for 30-60 minutes.


    1.  Add the molasses and corn syrup.

    2.  Switch to the dough hook.

    3.  Add 2 1/4 cups of the remaining flour and mix to combine.

    4.  The dough should eventually cling to the hook and start to clear the sides of the bowl. If the dough is still a little sticky add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour a tablespoon at a time.

    5.  Knead 5 minutes on medium speed. Form the dough into a smooth ball.

    6.  Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough. Cover.

    7.  Put the bowl of dough into the oven to proof.


    1.  After 30 minutes fold the dough and return to the oven.

    2.  After 30 minutes repeat the procedure.

    3.  After 60 minutes repeat the procedure again.

    4.  After 60 minutes the dough should be ready to shape the bagels. (NOTE - dough was ready after the 3rd fold...)


    1.  Line 2 cookie sheets with the silicon baking sheets or with parchament paper dusted with flour.

    2.  Divide the dough into 12 even pieces. Use a cupped hand to roll each piece into a smooth ball.

    3.  To form a bagel, poke your finger all the way through the center of a ball to make a hole. Use two fingers to gently open up the hole. Continue gently stretching to form the bagel or twirl the dough around your fingers to widen the center hole to 1 - 1.5" wide.

    4.  Place each bagel on the prepared cookie sheets and continue to form the remaining bagels. The dough will probably spring back a bit so you can go back and re-stretch the holes once you're done forming all the bagels.

    5.  Return to the oven to proof for another 60 minutes.


    1.  Remove the cookie sheets and preheat the oven to 425°F convection mode. (or 450°F regular)

    2.  In a large pot combine 1 gallon of water with the sugar and baking soda and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to keep the water at a rolling simmer. Set a cooling rack over a sheet pan or kitchen towel and place it next to the stove.

    3.  Boil the bagels for 30 seconds, flip and boil for 30 seconds on the other side. Depending on the size of your pot, you can boil 3-4 bagels at a time. As you remove the bagels from the water, set them on the cooling rack to drain.

    4.  Brush the bagels with egg white. Add the topping(s) of your choice.

    5.  Place the boiled, drained and topped bagels back on the cookie sheets.

    6.  Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.

The main problem I'm having right now is some of the bagels in this batch came out quite flat compared to others. Not sure why.





An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I should stock up on flour, maybe some yeast by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Mar 03, 2020 at 09:39:54 AM EST
maybe eggs, just in case our city gets quarantined, or runs out of staples.

Mrs. Ha and I made pretzels one year for a work team building thing, back when we used to have team building things, and offices. It was a food thing to show off your heritage, and pretzels seemed like the safest choice, with all the vegetarians around. They were a hit!

I'd love to bake for my cow orkers but by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed Mar 04, 2020 at 12:38:01 PM EST
7 hours for a dozen pretzels and a dozen bagels... I don't love them >that< much. ;-)

Although I feel like a lot of that is just overhead, like with one more hour I could have made twice as much.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
We had sort of an assembly line by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #15 Thu Mar 05, 2020 at 07:57:47 AM EST
Form a bunch, boil a bunch for a short time, coat with egg, through in the oven.


I might do it again if we get quarantined.

[ Parent ]
Baking and stress | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden)