Bavarian Pretzels or bread rolls

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Just done they’re best and we prefer them as bread rolls to be served with sausage or cheese. Unfortunately not every bakery’s offering them. So just prepare them at home and eat them directly from the oven – there’s nothing better.
Besides the ingredients for traditional bread rolls (s. “Crispy bread rolls” – but without herbs) you’ll need 1 liter of water, 40g baking soda or pretzel salt (sodium hydroxid) and some coarse sea salt. You’ll get sodium hydroxid at your local bakery or in a web shop. Prepare the dough for your bread rolls as usually and let it rest. Then divide it into 10-12 portions and make rolls. Let these rest again.
In the meantime bring the water to a boil and step by step add  the baking soda. Do this carefully because the soda will bubble heavily. It’s best to wear gloves and glasses to avoid eyes and hands getting into contact with the soda water. Dip the rolls into the water and as soon as they come up to the surface remove them from the water and place them on a greased baking tray. Don’t use paper because it will dissolve when getting into contact with the soda. Sprinkle your rolls with some coars sea salt and cook them for 20-30 minutes at 220°C until dark brown.

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Remove them from the oven and cool them a bit on a wire rack. Then serve them lukewarm with soft butter.
Instead of bread rolls you may as well make pretzels with that dough. Afterwards continue as for the rolls.

Chair pads

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Do it yourself – that’s the device after several weeks of searching for fitting chair pads. I chose a printed cotton fabric which I doubled with a simple white cotton. The pad itself is a piece of foam cut in the seating’s exact size. A simple envelope closure allows easy washing when dirty.

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On the site www.eenymeenyandmoe I found a wonderful description I really couldn’t have written better. When cutting your fabric please consider that besides the seam allowance you have to add the height of your foam pad to length and width of your fabric once. When your envelope closure cover is ready you have to make the box corners. With the cover wrong sides out, trim all corners. Therefor pull apart the fabric until it makes a little peak with the trimmed corner point at the top and the seam lines running down the middle of the front and the back. Carefully and precisely line up these seams. The two seam allowances should fold opposite one another. Stitch a line down from the peak having the length of your foam’s height. Cut down the triangle’s peak to a seamallowance of 0.5 cm.

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If you want to attach your pads to the chair’s back you have to place a folded ribbon into two of the corners before sewing. (the ribbon is placed on the right side of fabric but inside the corner – see left picture; on the right picture the end of the ribbon is visible after cutting the seam allowance)

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After turning the cover the ribbons will sit just in both corners where you can easily knot them to the back of your chair.

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With the remaining fabric I made a double-sided tea-cloth. The back is sewn with the white cotton fabric I took to line the pad covers.

 

 

 

First infinity scarf

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Most days are still sunny and we refuse to think about odd weather and freezing temperatures. Having a look at our caldendar however tells us to start with winter preparations. For the beginning we’ll make a really thick and warm infinity scarf. I made it with a wool mixture for needle size 4-UK/10.5-US but knitted it with a double thread and neddles size 17 – US/12 metric. With a yardage of 142 m / 100g I needed about 270g for my scarf.
Cast on 22 stitches for a 20cm wide scarf. (Number of stitches for this pattern – divide by 4 plus 2 edge stitches)

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First row: Edge stitch (slip it), # 3 knit stitches, 1 purl; repeat from # and stop with an edge stitch (knit).
Second row: Edge stitch (slip it), # 2 knit stitches, 1 purl, 1 knit stitch # repeat sequence and finish with an edge stitch ( purl).
By slipping the first stitch of the row you make your edge tighter (because you are basically knitting this stitch every other row) and if it is done right – a beautiful braid runs along your edges.
Repeat first and second row and bind off after 130cm.

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Put ends together and sew them with a slip stitch.
Worn in a double loop even the coldest days won’t make you freeze.

 

 

Black and white cookies

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Sweet and very tasty twists with chocolate and vanilly pastry – they’re very easy to do. both pastries are rolled out to the same size and placed on top of each other. To give them a better hold spread some beaten egg white on top of one of the pastry. I took some raspberry jam to connect both sheets.

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Cut strips 2cm wide and 12cm long.

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Take the ends of a strip with your hands and rotate them once oppositely. Place them on a greased baking tray and cook for 15-20 minutes at 180°C. Remove from the oven and leave on a rack to cool. Stored in a tin cookie jar they’ll kee several days.

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Pastry:
250 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
150 g caster sugar
1 bag vanilla sugar
1 dash of salt
1 egg size M
125 g soft butter
15g cocoa
15g caster sugar
1 tbsp milk

Mix flour with baking powder and add other ingredients except cocoa, 15g sugar and milk. Knead until fully combined. Divide into two and add cocoa, sugar and milk to one half. Wrap in foil and keep in the fridge for half an hour. Then roll out on a floured working surface and continue as described above.

Sweet hedgehogs

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Chocolate pinwheel cookies served in a different way. It’s a bit difficult to make them if you don’t have an oval cookie cutter with spikes. The other parts are easily rolled out and cooked. Eyes and nose are made with chocolate writing icing.

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Without the fitting cookie cutter just help yourself with a round cookie cutter. Roll out the dough a bit thicker then necessary and cut large rounds. Then roll over these rounds again to give them an oval shape. Cut the spikes with a sharp knife then.

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For the hedgehogs little belly roll out the dough at 3mm and cut little rounds. Take a shot glass if you don’t have a cookie cutter with the right size. Form a belly with your fingers then. The face is made with hearts of almond paste. Flatten top and rounds of your hearts to get a softer face form.
Belly and face are postioned on the hedgehog’s body after being brushed with beaten egg and milk on their back. Brush the belly’s front too. Cook hedehogs as long as pinwheel cookies. After cooling draw eyes and nose with writing icing.
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I chose a Dr. Oetker recipee for my hedgehogs but you may take this one as well. With the remaining dough I made some black and white swirls I also saw at Dr. Oetker’s site. Instruction and recipee will follow soon.

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