When trying to eliminate food waste, I don’t stop at my kitchen. Since trying to commit myself to avoid throwing away leftovers and being aware of the life span of some easily perishable food stuffs, I also often aim to buy things at the supermarket that have been reduced. Sometimes they are close to or have reached the sell-by date, others are simply not stocked anymore and have to make space for new products. Occasionally I also take things that were given away for free.
The other day the cashier at an organic supermarket pointed out they have a crate with leftover bread behind the checkout, if I want to take some. It was only half an hour until they closed so I took a baguette and a couple of pretzels. The pretzels reminded me of a snack I discovered recently: pretzel pieces the size of an inch, made out of regular pretzels that have been doused in olive oil and different kinds of flavourings. I found that was a fantastic way to use up leftover pretzels.
Pretzels don’t keep for very long and they are very sensitive to some climates. If it’s too dry they quickly get very hard and chewy, when the humidity is too high they also adapt a rather chewy and slightly soggy texture. If you have some that have gotten too chewy, you can moisten them slightly with your wet hands and baking them in the oven on 160 degrees for 5-7 minutes.
I have decided to recreate the pretzel snack. I searched the internet and found some methods. Here is what I tried. Someone also told me to make pretzel dumplings, which apparently you can make out of hard pretzels that you have had in your larder for weeks. This is a project I am intending to try real soon and share with you. Since it’s the weekend I have decided to make the pretzels for snacking on when watching a film on Saturday night. I have made them with smoked paprika powder. Someone suggested to create a salt and vinegar version, dousing the pretzels in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. DIfferent herbs are also an option. What are your favourite flavours when it comes to cisps and other kind of snacks?
stale pretzels (a day old or max. 2 days old)
Preheat the oven to 80 degrees Celsius. Remove the rock salt from the pretzels, simply by rubbing it off with your fingers. Slice the pretzels with a sharp knife into 1 cm rounds. Put the pretzel pieces in a bowl and add the olive oil. You need about 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil for each pretzel. Toss the pieces so they are evenly coated with the olive oil. Add the paprika or other spices of your choice and toss. I find it works best to dust the pieces using a metal sieve and spoon. Then toss again until they are evenly coated with the paprika. Spread the mixture on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and dry in the oven for 2 hours, turning the pieces in between. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes. Enjoy!