Soft Beer Pretzels
Everyone loves a good soft pretzel. These giant savory snacks remind us of our childhood and take us back to those excursions at the zoo, the circus, the amusement park, or even trips to New York, where they can be found on almost every street corner.
But, just when you thought they couldn’t get any better, we went ahead and added beer right into the dough. Talk about a recipe makeover! The subtle flavor that the addition of the brew adds to this snack transforms it into the perfect treat that you’ll want to serve for happy hour and everything else in between. Best served warm with a giant pitcher of beer, these pretzels are one snack that you won’t be able to get enough of.
You’ll find these pretzels to be the perfect combination of textures. They’re crusty on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Sprinkle them with sesame seeds or coarse salt for that authentic look and taste, and dip them in spicy honey mustard sauce for an extra kick of flavor.
Soft Beer Pretzels
Yield: 8 large pretzels or 16 miniature pretzels
2 fl. oz. (60 ml) warm water
2¼ tsp. (11 ml) active dry yeast
2 tsp. (10 ml) granulated sugar
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) salt
13.5 oz. (400 ml) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. (1.25 ml) cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. (1.25 ml) garlic powder
2 tbsp. (30 ml) unsalted butter, softened
8 fl. oz. (237 ml) beer, any light to medium colored ale
3 tbsp. (45 ml) baking soda
sesame seeds or coarse salt for garnish
Spicy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)
1. In a small bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Allow the mixture to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the mixture should be foamy and bubbly. If it isn’t, toss it and start over. It is very important for the yeast to activate at this stage.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Add the butter and mix until evenly incorporated. Switch to the dough hook attachment and add the yeast mixture and the beer. Mix on medium speed until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If your dough doesn’t come together and appears to be dry, add more beer, a little bit at a time, until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms. If your dough is too wet, add flour until you reach the right consistency.
3. Once your dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, raise the speed to high and knead for 5 to 7 minutes. You can also do this by hand on a lightly floured surface.
4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
5. After it has doubled, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 8 or 16 even balls, depending on desired pretzel size. Place the dough pieces on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic until ready to use.
6. Working with one dough ball at a time, use your hands to roll out the ball into a long rope. Shape into pretzels and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat this process until all of the pretzels are formed. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
7. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and preheat oven to 450°F. After the pretzels have doubled in size and the water has come up to a boil, add the baking soda to the pot. Stand back–it will bubble up! Place the pretzels carefully into the pot of boiling water and cook for 1 minute on each side. Do not over-crowd the pot.
8. Transfer the boiled pretzels from the pot back to the baking sheet. Once all the pretzels have been boiled, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk it with a splash of water. Brush the pretzels with the egg wash and sprinkle them with sesame seeds or coarse salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Rotating the pans halfway through baking. Serve warm with Spicy Honey Mustard Sauce.
Spicy Honey Mustard Sauce
Yield: 1 cup
2 fl. oz. (60 ml) yellow mustard
2 fl. oz. (60 ml) dijon mustard
2 fl. oz. (60 ml) stone ground mustard
2 fl. oz. (60 ml) honey
1 tbsp. (15 ml) horseradish
1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Keep for up to 1 week.