December 28, 2014

Today's #BakeItForward celebrity supporter is Kate Jacoby, co-owner, pastry chef, general manager, and sommelier at Vedge in Philadelphia, PA. Kate is raising awareness for Chenoa Manor, an accredited non-profit animal sanctuary and youth assistance facility located in Avondale, PA. Chenoa is run by Dr. Rob Teti, a Vedge customer and friend of Kate's.

"[Chenoa] is home to about 300 rescued farm and exotic animals, all tended by Dr. Teti with the assistance of local "at risk" teens who learn compassion and accountability by caring for the animals," Kate said. "I've visited on several occasions, and they do fantastic work. We've even had some of the teens stage in our kitchen when they've demonstrated an interest in the culinary arts. I really can't say enough wonderful things about Chenoa."

Kate made homemade soft pretzels to share with Chenoa, the recipe for which can be found below.

Inspired? Try your hand at a savory treat like Kate did, and bake a second batch for a local charity or someone who means something to you. Deliver the treats, and show them how much you appreciate them.

Check back tomorrow to see who else is joining us to #BakeItForward.

Kate Jacoby's Soft Pretzels

  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 4 ½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • Some coarse salt
  1. Combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit in warm place for about 10 minutes until yeast blooms.
  2. Next, sift together flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, then add the yeast mixture and knead until smooth.
  3. Use the vegetable oil to line a new mixing bowl. Transfer the dough to this bowl, then cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 450°.
  5. Meanwhile, transfer risen dough to work surface, and cut into 16 pieces. You may choose to lightly dust the surface with flour if the dough feels too sticky, but this shouldn’t be necessary. Roll each piece of dough into a long log then twist into pretzel shape.
  6. Bring a large pot full of water to a boil. Slowly add baking soda to the boiling water, being careful that it doesn’t bubble over and cause a big mess! Drop the pretzels (about 4 at a time) into the water and boil for about 30 seconds or until they float to the top surface. Then arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. Brush the boiled pretzels with the remaining olive oil, then sprinkle with the coarse salt.
  8. Bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately or (once cool) store in air tight container.
Recipe courtesy of Kate Jacoby.

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