So I have been getting prepared for football season. I usually have friends over for bloodymary’s, chili, tacos and beer. This year I wanted to change it up a bit, so I have been trying out recipes for a variety of different foods that would work with football and beer. What goes better with beer than a good old fashioned pretzel. So I researched a couple of recipes and then I saw an episode of good eats. Instantly I knew I would have to try AB’s recipe.

Served with a little mustard sauce!
Served with a little mustard sauce!

The pretzels were tasty. I didn’t have pretzel salt, but I found that fine sea salt worked great.

Homemade Soft Pretzel – (From Alton Brown – Good Eats)

  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour – (approximately 4 1/2 cups)
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted – (approximately 1/2 stick)
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt – (I used sea salt)

The first step is to combine the water, sugar, salt and yeast and let it form a foam.  Takes about 5 minutes.

Getting the yeast all bubbly
Getting the yeast all bubbly

Next weigh out 22 ounces of flour.  This is roughly 4 1/2 cups of flour.  I prefer to use the scale so that everything is exactly the same each and every time that I make it.

Weighing out the goods - 22oz = 1lb, 6oz
Weighing out the goods - 22oz = 1lb, 6oz

Next add the flour and butter to the yeast mixture and combine on low using a dough hook.

Don't worry, it is a wet dough and will stick until you crank the machine up a notch.
Don't worry, it is a wet dough and will stick until you crank the machine up a notch.

Once the dough is incorporated turn the machine up to medium and let it go until the dough pulls away from the edges and gets shiny.

As you can see the dough came clean from the edges.
As you can see the dough came clean from the edges.

Next brush a bowl with vegetable oil and transfer the dough to it.  The dough is sticky so this is easiest if you grease your hands too.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour or until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.  Don’t forget to brush them with a little oil.

Bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

At this time clean a large surface and lightly grease it with vegetable oil.  Then turn the dough out of the bowl onto the surface.

Make sure to grease the counter as the dough is sticky.
Make sure to grease the counter as the dough is sticky.

Next portion the dough out into 8 pieces.  Then roll each piece into a 2 foot long snake.

It is best if you grease your hands a little bit when forming the dough
It is best if you grease your hands a little bit when forming the dough

Next form the dough into a U-shape.

Form the U
Form the U

Once you have the U formed, hold the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel.  Well I read that and crossed them over and then pressed the edges on the side.  It is still a pretzel but it is less secure when boiling.  I would suggest trying the first method. I have no idea where my mind was.  Anyways it will probably take you a couple of tries to get it down.  Don’t worry.

Making Pretzels
Making Pretzels

Place each formed pretzel onto a  parchment-lined half sheet pan that has been lightly brushed with vegetable oil.

They may not be perfect but they are mine.
They may not be perfect but they are mine.

Once you have the pretzels made it is time to give them a little bath.  Place the pretzels one at a time in the boiling water/baking soda mixture for 30 seconds.  Remove with a large spatula and place back on the parchment lined sheets.  Brush with a beaten egg yolk and then dust with the salt.  – I totally failed to check for eggs and when it came time to top the pretzels I didn’t have any so I brushed the tops with melted butter and then added salt.

Boiling
Boiling

Bake for 12-14 minutes at 450 degrees.  When golden brown remove from the oven.  Let cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Make sure to let them cool
Make sure to let them cool

I served mine with some Texas Sassy Mustard Sauce.  I love this stuff, not too tangy, not too sweet and perfectly spiced.  It also has hints of pickle in it.  It is the perfect accompaniment to the pretzels.  Well, besides a nice frosty beer.

The pretzel dipped in a little Texas Sassy Mustard Sauce
The pretzel dipped in a little Texas Sassy Mustard Sauce

Now that football season is in full swing I am going to be featuring some great food to eat while watching the games.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

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