Flag Food

You may be asking yourself- what is flag food? Well…. it is regional food that looks like that region’s flag! Martin and I love dyeing our recipes and these two are some of my favorites- enjoy!

The People’s Republic of China

Fortune Cookies!

Now I know these are an American Chinese takeout invention but I grew up with them and I love them! Fortune cookies are similar to French tuiles as they are a thin crunchy cookie. However the shape is uniquely all its own and there is a small piece of paper with a fortune written on it on the inside.

This is the recipe I followed: https://honestandtruly.com/homemade-fortune-cookies/

Because Melissa (that’s me), I decided to make a few batches like the Chinese flag by coloring some dough red and yellow. Overall they were fairly easy to make but I learned the key is a thin layer of dough. Also be prepared to not quite burn yourself but handle hot cookies (they harden VERY quickly), I formed many a cookie and did a hot hands dance while wincing a bit.

Martin was good at putting the dough on the cookie sheet, or more accurately the upside down cookie sheet with a silpat baking mat on top. I did all the forming but he came up with the jokes 🙂

Bonus Tip: the recipe calls for egg whites and I tried to teach Martin how to rock the yolk back and forth in the shells- it didn’t work. So instead I had him crack a whole egg into a bowl then I would scoop the yolk out. Easy peasy!

Germany

I love pretzels and I love colorful food. I was inspired by the current season (USA Netflix season 8) of the Great British Bake Off’s bread episode. The technical challenge was rainbow bagels and the recipe I planned on using was an adapted bagel recipe into a pretzel recipe. So I thought why not?!

The recipe is from Alton Brown an American tv cooking show host and personality. I’ve enjoyed his recipes before so I thought this one was worth the try!

I was going to color the dough full rainbow like the bagels on GBBO but instead my eyes landed on 3 colors on the top of my food dye container- black, red and yellow. In that instant I changed plans and we were no longer going to make rainbow pretzels but German flag pretzels!

You can find the recipe that I used here: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/homemade-soft-pretzels-recipe-1948242

When you kneed the dough after mixing it and before proofing it, kneed the color into the dough- if you are new to kneeding (like me!) adding color is a great way to force you to kneed as much as you need to (ha!)

Kneed it till the color is even and you should get a lovely ‘window pane’- a test to see if you’ve developed enough gluten by stretching a small piece of dough till you can see light through it, like a window pane, if it rips before you can see through it you need to kneed it more.

When it came to shaping the dough I rolled out each color into a rectangle and layered one on top of the other. Then I cut strips of the dough, we twisted it and then shaped the pretzels!

I grew up watching the ‘artists’ at the Auntie Anne’s pretzel places in our local mall- they would roll it out, smack it on the table and in mid-air twist it, lay it down and it was a perfect pretzel. Every. Single. TIME!

I tried my hand at this technique and I was able to do it, I was pretty proud of myself! However, so that Martin could do it with me, we followed Alton’s guide- make a U, cross the loose ends 2 times, bring them down and press to secure. We were able to do them together for the most part and it was a lot of fun!

The boiling made a massive mess but I don’t know how else to do it- this steps is what gives the pretzel it’s chewy exterior.

We baked them off and enjoyed our German snack for a couple of days. I was the most enamored with the color but I mean come on- don’t these look cool!?

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