Way way back in the day, this blog used to be called 52 Weeks Project where my goal was to make one new thing a week. It was simple and sweet, but purely just a hobby. If you’re still around from those days (2011-2014)– HOLY CRAP. And I say that, as you’ll see below, because I had no clue what I was doing… but who does in the early stages of anything?
I didn’t know anything about websites, how to work a camera/photoshop, or even honestly, make things that would last more than one day in my house; the projects weren’t practical or really thought out beyond ‘this is my weekly assignment’. There wasn’t much substance behind what I was posting, because it wasn’t thoughtful or all that visually pleasing. Case in point: my second blog post ever was titled “Pretzels: What Not to Do”.
(a screenshot from the old blog)
So what does all this have to do with soft pretzels? Well, for my second blog post ever I decided that I’d try to make my own soft pretzels. I wasn’t a baker– I actually am not sure I even attempted anything but boxed brownies at this time in my life, if that. I went through the trouble and hours of work this recipe required, only to burn the entire batch because I used wax paper instead of parchment paper. It was a stupid, basic mistake. Though truthfully, I don’t know how well those pretzels would’ve even turned out based on how wet the dough looks in the photos. And in 9 years since the post, I haven’t tried to make them again. Until now!
(Process photos I took 9 years ago)
After spending months in quarantine I thought, why not give them another chance. If you know me, then you know I’m only slightly obsessed with soft pretzels and always have been. I’ve been baking a lot within the past few years, so I thought I would’ve learned enough to give this one a go.
Were the results perfect? No. Of course not, it was only my second attempt. But were they better? Absolutely. I mean, on a very basic level– they didn’t catch fire this time. And isn’t that a step?
When it comes down to it– with enough time and practice, you can improve. It might take months, maybe 9+ years, hell even 30 years, but you can always teach yourself to do and be better.
Focus on your intent. Focus on the why. Be calculated about your work and look at the details. Progressively making those small changes will lead to overall better work. It’s okay to fail and not get things right the first time, as long as you learned something from your mistakes. That energy and time devoted to practicing will pay off, I assure you.
So what’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, but felt that you couldn’t? What’s something you gave up after one failed attempt? Let me know in the comments below so we can take this journey together!
And if you want to see the pretzel making in action– I joined TikTok! I’m hoping to share more behind the scenes videos there, so be sure to follow along!
@thecraftedlifeHow to make soft pretzels 🥨💕##howto ##baking ##pretzel♬ Twist and Shout – Mono – The Searchers