No, they likely won’t be watching Animal Planet’s annual Puppy Bowl, but if you have a dog in the house and will be spending plenty of time this weekend in front of the TV watching the Super Bowl and all that comes with it – Super Bowl commercials, the Super Bowl half time show, Puppy Bowl – your pup may need a treat of his or her own. Of course, dogs are among the most grateful recipients of culinary efforts – a half hour spent stirring up a batch of dough, shaping and baking them into crunchy pretzels will earn their undying affection.
Feel free to experiment with various whole grain flours, such as rye, buckwheat, oat and quinoa; each have their own unique nutritional profile and are high in fiber. A spoonful of ground flaxseed will boost fiber as well as omega 3 fatty acids. If these are destined to be given as a gift, stack pretzels and thread a ribbon through them; tie a bow to decoratively hold the lot together.
Puppy Bowl Pretzels
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) whole wheat flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) skim milk powder
1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. (5 mL) baking powder
1 cup (250 mL) chicken or beef stock, or water
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) canola, olive or flax oil
sesame seeds, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, combine flour, skim milk powder, Parmesan cheese and baking powder. Add the chicken stock and oil and stir until the dough comes together; turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times, then cover with a towel and let rest for about 15 minutes.
Pinch off pieces of dough about the size of a walnut, roll into thin ropes and shape the ropes into pretzels, pressing the ends to seal. You can make pretzels as big or small as you like to suit the size of your dog, but increase the baking time accordingly. If you like, brush a little water over the tops of the pretzels and sprinkle them with sesame seeds.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until firm. Turn off the oven, leaving the pretzels inside as it cools to allow them to harden further. Store in a tightly sealed container.
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen pretzels.