2 articles Tag European

Best Locations to Have a Holiday with Your Dog

Many pet owners don’t want to leave their pets behind when they go on holiday, whether that is somewhere close to home, or a little bit farther. Dog friendly holidays are becoming increasingly more popular, and even if you want to get some sun in a hotter climate, there are some great options for places to go, as well as reasonably priced companies offering all the help you need to ship dogs to your holiday destination, safely and happily. Here are some of the best holiday locations for you and your dog:

England

England’s quarantine laws have recently been lifted, allowing for free travel for dogs from most countries. This is ideal as England is one of the most dog-friendly places, with plenty to see for humans and their furry friends. The country and the cities are great for walking- something your dog is sure to enjoy. And it is not often that you can take your dog to see truly historical features like those on offer in England.

Greece

What dog doesn’t want to spend all day at the beach? In fact, you might argue that dogs usually have more fun than their human counterparts. Greece offers plenty of beaches, where you and your dog can enjoy in equal parts. If you go in the spring, your dog will be most happy as temperatures won’t be too high for them, and if they are, most places have air conditioning, so you are set!

Switzerland

The rules for dog travel to Switzerland are indeed lax, allowing easy entry for you and your dog. This spans to their use of public transportation as well, making it easy for you and your dog to catch a plan, train, or boat. Small dogs can even travel for free! As an added bonus, most restaurants in Switzerland even let your dog dine with you! A true dog haven!

Spain

Spain can be an extremely relaxing trip for you and your pup. Laying by the pool, catching some sun rays, all of this is extremely appealing when traveling with your puppy. Spain in general is pretty laid back. This makes taking your dog with you anywhere very easy. The largest cities in Spain even have specialized dog exercise and toilet areas. This is ideal when spending the day sight seeing. Just make sure you don’t let your dog get overheated in the Spanish sunshine!

It is important for dog owners to do all the necessary research before going on the holiday of their dreams. This includes checking what your pet needs to have (passport, vaccinations, etc.), talking to your vet for advice, and ensuring that not just the place you are sleeping is dog friendly, but that there are also local things to do with your dog that you can both enjoy and that you are both welcome in.

Bavarian-Style Pretzels

Last week, we went to Lakeside for our Build-a-Bear experience and on the way out, grabbed a pretzel each from the vendor there. Not the small, hard pretzels that you get in bags but the large, bready ones that you find in Germany, and we all loved them.

Husband has been to Germany many times and even to a few proper beer kellers in Munich where they have ladies walking around selling freshly baked ones, but he’d only ever had a pretzel at Disneyland, so I decided to have a go at making our own, so that we can have them whenever we want.

After a little research, I discovered that true Bavarian pretzels are dipped into Lye (caustic soda) before baking to get the shiny, dark brown exterior but it’s difficult to buy food-grade Lye in the UK as it’s quite dangerous and can dissolve human flesh! We discovered that you can use a bath of bicarbonate of soda and water as a substitute, which doesn’t give such a deep-brown shine but still gives a good colour and crisp, so I thought I’d give you all the recipe and method to make your own.

 
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Ingredients
1 sachet of active yeast (7g or  teaspoons)
520g self-raising flour
350 ml warm water 
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
Bicorbonate of Soda
Water
Sea Salt
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Knob of butter, melted
 
Method

^ Heat the oven to 200c

^ Start by placing the yeast in a large bowl with 30ml of the warm water and mix until dissolved

^ Add the brown sugar

^ Sift in the salt and flour

^ Add the remaining warm water

^ Start bringing the mixture together with a wooden spoon

^ Once you have a solid mass, start kneading

^ Knead the dough for ten minutes until smooth and elastic. It doesn’t need to prove before shaping

^ Grab a saucepan and add three cups of water and 6 tbsps bicarbonate of soda and bring to the boil

^ Allow to simmer until all soda has dissolved then remove from heat and allow to cool a little

^ Cut your kneeded dough into 8 equal pieces

^ Take each piece and roll into a long snake which is slightly thicker in the middle, about 15 inches long

^ Make the pretzel shape by holding each end of the snake, crossing the lengths over each other twice and sticking the ends at if they were at twenty to four on a clock

^ Place on two baking trays lined with parchment paper and allow to stand for ten minutes

^ Take the moulded dough shapes and one by one, submerge into the bicarb solution for about ten seconds

^ Place the dipped dough onto the parchment paper, four on each tray and reshape a little if needed

^ Once all of the dough has been dipped, season one tray with sea salt

^ Bake all of the pretzels at 200c for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown

^ Brush all of the pretzels lightly with a little melted butter and add more salt to the savoury ones

^ Mix the icing sugar and cinammon in a bowl and sift over the 4 unseasoned pretzels

Enjoy while warm!

UPDATE: Carolin and Helen were true to their word below and both made their own pretzels! You can find their recipes HERE and HERE.