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Soft Pretzels and Beer

Aahhhh… the smells of football. No, I’m not talking about fresh cut grass, old worn football leather, or the smell of dozens of sweaty, musky, stinky men in a locker room after they “crushed the competition” or “got their %$@#es butts handed to them. (I’m definitely not talking about those smells!) I’m talking about the smells that make football season come to life. Right in your own home. The smells that make the men (and women) in the house perk up. The smells that pull people out of the last days of summer ho-hum-ness. The smells that say football season is finally here!

soft pretzels

All the makings for a great afternoon!

There are two distinct aromas that start making an appearance in our house around the beginning of football season. Beer brewing and soft pretzels baking. Our family likes beer (and wine, and Bloody Marys, etc. etc.), particularly craft beer. So a few years ago, they guys decided to try their hand at the beer making craft. And boy is it a process… but they have a ton of fun doing it, and it’s become somewhat of a tradition. It looks like a science experiment. There are beakers, funnels, cheesecloth, and tubes of yeast that need to be refrigerated (except when they don’t). Honestly, I don’t get it. Hand me a long neck and a bottle opener and I’m a happy camper. But the guys really enjoy getting into it. It’s a several hour process. Perfect for that Sunday double header. They boil, they stir, they strain, they cool. And the smells are amazing. The mixture of yeast, barley, oranges, honey, and spices waft out of the pot and permeate every room in the house. It’s wonderful. It’s a great bonding experience.

Let the science experiment begin!

Let the science experiment begin!

Having all this beer around means one thing – you’ve gotta have something to soak it all up! Enter the homemade soft pretzel. We’ve all had them… those warm, hot out of the oven, chewy, salty, soft pretzels. But who wants to go to the mall to get them? So I figured, I’d give it a shot. It turns out that they’re actually not all that difficult to make, and the end result is fantastic! Pair them up with your favorite dipping condiment – honey mustard, PB&J, cheese spread, garlic cream cheese –  and you’ve got it made! It’s the perfect beer accompaniment! Easy to eat while sitting on the couch watching that double header. Just salty enough to ensure you need a refill of that beer. And the soft, chewy, fluffiness will soak up as much beer as needed!

soft pretzels

Soft Pretzels and Beer!

So while the barley, yeast, and whatever else is in that massive beer pot are simmering and the football game is blaring, whip up a batch of these tender, soft on the inside but crunchy on the outside, salty, flavorful homemade soft pretzels and pop ’em in the oven. Can’t you just smell it now? Comment below to let me know your favorite dipping sauce? I’m always looking for new and interesting sauces!

Soft pretzels

Choose your dipping sauce!


Soft pretzels
Soft Pretzels and Beer
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 pretzles 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
12 minutes 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 pretzles 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
12 minutes 1 hour
Soft pretzels
Soft Pretzels and Beer
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 pretzles 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
12 minutes 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 pretzles 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
12 minutes 1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: pretzles
Instructions
  1. Combine the sugar and salt in a the bowl of your stand mixer. Add warm water and dissolve. Sprinkle with the yeast packet and let sit 5 minutes, until the yeast starts to bubble.
  2. Attach your dough hook to the stand mixer. Add melted butter and flour to the bowl and mix on low for a couple minutes. Then mix on medium for 5 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the sides. (Add a bit more flour if necessary). Remove dough from bowl, lightly oil the bowl with vegetable oil, then put dough back in bowl. Cover and set in a warm place to let dough rise, until it doubles in size. Approx 45 min-1 hour.
  3. Turn oven on to 450 degrees. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets and set aside.
  4. Bring the 8 cups of water and baking soda to a full boil.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. One by one, form into a ball, then roll out into a 24" rope. Make a "U" with the rope, then cross the ends of the rope over each other one full time to make an "X" (with the U still at the bottom). Bring the ends down to the bottom of the U and press into the U of the dough, forming a pretzel shape.
  6. Carefully (with a slotted spatula) place the dough pretzel into the boiling water for 45 seconds. Remove with the spatula and place on the oiled baking sheet. Repeat with each section of the dough. You should have 4 pretzels on each baking sheet.
  7. Brush with the egg yolk/water mixture and sprinkle liberally with coarse salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for a few minutes. Break out the dipping sauces and dig in!

Jan Glas

Thursday 10th of September 2015

Man, I miss eating soft pretzels! One could sniff in the aroma for hours but it doesn't quite make up for eating them.

Yum!

Try some of that Glas All Naturals cheddar spread for your dipper. :)

Heather

Friday 11th of September 2015

Yep! As good as they smell, there's nothing like sinking your teeth into one! And I haven't done one with the Glas All Naturals, but I guarantee I will! I'm sure it will be delicious!

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