I have always been a fan of the occasional baseball game or carnival soft pretzels. I've also sadly found myself in the dark and somewhat depressing place that is the line of Auntie Anne's, usually located in the bleak depths of a large mall. I have more of a sweet tooth myself but when I am craving a more salty snack at any of the above venues, I tend to go for a soft pretzel.
With football season fast approaching, I felt like it was time to make some myself. I don't know where I got the idea that football and pretzels make the perfect combo -- but it just feels right. I think it has something to do with the German/Oktoberfest trend of pretzels and beer. So I somehow went from football and beer being a thing and morphed that into football and beer and pretzels being a thing...
Anyways, I found this great recipe over at Two Peas and Their Pod for Rosemary Sea Salt Pretzels and decided to give it a go.
They are a little tricky to make but overall the process was actually easier than I thought it would be. My main issue was rolling out the dough into ropes (as you can see my ropes were a little fat and therefore made for some pudgy pretzels). However, this did by no means compromise the taste -- and they were goooood. I'm definitely glad I tried them and I look forward to making them again for a Pats game this fall! (I also omitted making the cheese sauce because I'm not a huge fan of fondu -esque cheeses and they were delicious without it.)
For the pretzels:
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Canola oil, to grease bowl
3 quarts water
2/3 cups baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Coarse sea salt
1. To make the pretzels: combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add the salt, flour, and rosemary to the mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
3. Coat a large bowl with canola oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size. This will take about 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot.
5. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope. To shape into pretzels, take the right side and cross over to the left. Cross right to left again and flip up. Slowly add the baking soda to the boiling water. Boil the pretzels in the water solution, 2 at a time for 30 seconds, splashing the tops with the warmed water using a spoon. Remove with a large flat slotted spatula or a spider. Place 4 pretzels on each baking sheet, brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with sea salt. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until pretzels are golden brown.
6. Remove pretzels from oven and let cool on a wire baking rack.
Then enjoy those bad boys -- take a peek below:
Check out stixandstonez's first VIDEO below, showing the whole process. Let me know what you think of the video feature -- made by the rising star that is my brother!