Today is Administrative Professionals Day, Hug an Australian Day, National Pretzel Day, Richter Scale Day and the birthday of Bernard Malamud, Charles Browne (Artemis Ward), Anita Loos, Vincente Aleixandre, Morris West
Tip: Create a writing schedule for the next month. Start with fifteen minutes and increase it by fifteen minutes each week until you have an hour a day.
Thought: “Fiction writing is a 24-hour a day occupation. It lives inside you. It resides and grows and comes alive in your mind.” – Terry Brooks
Teaser: Write a short piece using as many clichés, metaphors and similes as you can.
Recipe for Gluten Free Pretzels from King Arthur Flour
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tablespoons soft butter
4 quarts water
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt, optional
Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, xanthan gum, and baking powder. Add the water, egg, and butter and stir until a firm dough forms, about 4 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If the dough seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water.
Knead the dough until smooth, then transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, 45 to 90 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with parchment. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently deflate it, and divide it into 12 equal pieces.
Cover the pieces and, one at a time, roll them into 12″ to 14″ ropes. Shape the ropes into pretzels and place them on the prepared pans.
Add the baking soda and sugar to the boiling water and wait for the foam to subside.
Drop the pretzels one at a time into the water, and boil them for about 5 seconds; they should initially sink, then float to the surface in that time.
Return the pretzels to the pans and sprinkle them with the coarse salt of your choice, if desired.
Bake the pretzels until golden brown and finished to your liking, about 18 to 20 minutes for soft pretzels, 25 minutes for chewier pretzels, and 35 minutes for hard pretzels.
Allow the pretzels to cool on the pans for 10 minutes before serving.
Yield: 12 pretzels.