Shelter-in-Place Journal, Day 228

On Tuesday, I took our Prius to Auto-Tec for its first service in over a year. I had tried to make an appointment a few months ago, but when I told Don how little we’d driven the car, he suggested waiting, so we waited.

As I was picking the car up, Don asked me whether we parked it overnight inside or outside – I said “inside” and he said “good, because Prius catalytic converters are being stolen at a furious pace.” Of course, parking the car inside overnight is all well and good, but I’ve been worried about taking it anywhere and leaving it for more than a few minutes because I keep reading stories about people stealing the converters in public parking lots.

Don said they could install a shield and suggested getting it from Cat Security in Sacramento; I ordered it as soon as I got home and had it shipped to him. They installed it today. I feel better.

We made another batch of pretzels today. This time, I weighed the water and the flour!

I followed the instructions in the recipe to make the dough, starting with 3 minutes on low speed to mix the ingredients. When I checked, there was still a good bit of flour that hadn’t combined, so I added a little water and mixed it up by hand. Then I turned on the mixer again and was surprised when the dough climbed up the dough hooks and onto the mixer itself (see the photo at the top of the page).

I scraped it back into the bowl and mixed some more – eventually, I declared victory and put the dough in the oven to rise (I’d warmed the oven a few degrees, thanks to suggestions here).

When I took the risen dough out to fold it, it was very sticky, and it stayed sticky through the entire process, much stickier than last time. I’m curious as to why it was so sticky and why it attacked the mixer – any suggestions?

I had to split the pretzels between two baking sheets, one on the top rack and one on the bottom. The batch on top browned evenly in 14 minutes; the batch on the bottom (closer to the heat source) was pale on its top side, so I moved it to the top rack and baked for another two minutes, and that darkened it appropriately.

The final product was tasty, despite the glitches along the way (including dumping too much salt on the pretzels as a topping), so I’m hoping to learn how to make the process run better for the next iteration in a couple of weeks.

Shabbat Shalom!