I Love Carbs

I have written in the past about how irked I am by the Paleo diet trend.  It seems unsustainable, extreme and controlling, several qualities that do not feel comfortable in my food life.  I should care what other people are up to, but for some reason the Paleo thing gets to me.  Also, I just really love bread and potatoes, so even if the math added up on the Paleo diet, I could still see myself living with the risks of flour, just as people now openly encourage pregnant women to go ahead and have that occasional glass  of wine.

In fact, this year one of my goals is very flour-focused.  After years of hemming and hawing about wanting to make bread after one or two long-ago failed attempts, I have finally made some progress.  I have successfully caused dough to rise, and navigated my way around a packet of yeast.

For my weekly attempts in the beginning of the year, I stuck with one basic white/wheat yeast bread recipe and repeated it several times until it became more comfortable.  But this week, I have cleared a new hurdle: the soft pretzel.

I have never met a pretzel that I didn't like, but these produced an unusually high level of satisfaction.  I veered slightly from the technical requirements of my goal; this recipe was not from one of the books already on my shelf, but rather from a blog that I stumbled across recently.  It was a very simple version, more simple than the versions in my cookbooks, thereby making it a good stepping stone.  There will definitely be more pretzels baked in our house; my husband and I enjoyed these so much that we almost ruined our appetites for dinner.

Next on my list of homemade Paleo-busting recipes: cinnamon buns.  I have yet to find a good one made in Houston, plus, if it's homemade, it's fair game according to my Michael Pollan "diet".