Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pretzel Bites with Spicy Mustard Sauce

We love spicy in this house and so anything we make that is spicy we are all over it. Even my two year old likes spicy. It was hilarious the first time he tried something with some heat and looked at us and said "it's spicy!". I'm pretty sure we fell over laughing. I actually had some ghost pepper caramels which are supposed to be hotter than habeneros and he got a hold of them yesterday and ate some. The response? "It's spicy!" I totally thought it would have been too hot for him...

So, back to the pretzels. I also love pretzels and if we go someone that has them I always want one. We've made them at home a few times before but it's been a while and I found a recipe, so naturally you know we HAD to make them. Luckily for me this dough is an absolute dream to work with (for me at least). It was to sticky or anything which always makes me super happy. I've made three yeast items in the past two days so I'm always excited about nice doughs. I also buy yeast in bulk though so I'm used to working with crazy doughs that don't want to act right occasionally. 

These were amazing and completely addicting. And! they freeze well. We actually saved about 8 (sad I know) and froze them to see how they would turn out. We popped them in the oven around 375 for about 8 minutes or so until they were warmed through and a little darker brown and they were crispy again and ah-mazing. Yum! So, if you're thinking you might want to make these you should just scroll to the bottom of this post and click on "printable recipe". You will thank me (and Alton Brown, because I adapted his recipe). This recipe joined the link party on Trick or Treat Tuesday on Inside BruCrew Life.

Pretzel Bites
Makes about 55 - 1” bites

- ¾ cup warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
- ½  tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons yeast or about ½ a yeast packet
- 11 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 2 ¼ cups
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Vegetable oil, for pan (if not using Silpat or wire rack)
- 10 cups water
- ½ cup baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Kosher salt or pretzel salt

- Spicy mustard dip (recipe follows)

1. Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.
2. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.       
4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil or place a wire rack on the baking sheet. Set aside.
5. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan.       
6. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 12-inch rope. Cut into 1” pieces, set aside.        
7. Place the pretzel pieces into the boiling water, 8-10 at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large slotted spoon. Place on the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel bite with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the kosher or pretzel salt.

8. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Spicy Mustard Dip
- 1 ½ teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons chinese mustard
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Mix all ingredients together, blending well. Warm in desired for 5 second intervals in microwave, stirring between each interval. 

Recipe adapted from Food Network

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