Soft baked pretzels are delicious and great to eat year-round. They are also perfect for dunking in dips, cheese sauce and especially mustard.
Technique tip: Make the pretzels the day before you plan to serve them, then warm them in your oven when your guests arrive.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 7 cups water, divided
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 2 tablespoons coarse salt (preferably smoked salt)
Spicy beer mustard (makes 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
- 1 cup malt vinegar
- 1⅓ cups beer (lager or dark beer), divided
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons mustard powder
For the pretzels:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour and yeast, then add 1 cup of water, butter, maple syrup and salt. Mix on low for two minutes, then increase the speed to medium and mix for another 6-7 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. The dough should be firm to the touch.
2. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic to proof in a warm area until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3. Preheat your oven to 475°F.
4. Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the dough and place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut the dough into 6 equal-sized pieces. To make the traditional pretzel shape, roll each dough ball into a 24-inch long rope, leaving the center of the rope a little thicker than the ends. Lay the rope on your work surface in a U shape and cross the right side over the left side at the ends (the thicker end of the dough should be closest to you). Twist the ends together, then fold the twisted side onto each side of the thicker end. Gently press to seal and transfer to a parchment paper–lined sheet tray and cover with plastic wrap to allow to proof once again, until soft to the touch (about 30 minutes).
5. In a medium bowl, dissolve the baking soda in 6 cups of water. One at a time, dip the pretzels into the water mixture and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment, then immediately sprinkle coarse salt on top.
6. Once all pretzels have been dipped and seasoned with salt, bake for about 12-15 minutes or until pretzels are deep golden brown. Transfer the cooked pretzels to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
For the spicy beer mustard:
1. In a nonreactive container, combine the yellow mustard seeds, vinegar and 1 cup of the beer. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 1/3 cup of beer with the honey, brown sugar, salt, allspice and turmeric and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool.
3. Transfer the liquid to a blender with the mustard powder and the mustard seeds with their soaking liquid and puree to desired consistency. Transfer the mustard to a glass jar. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving. The mustard can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.