Those big, warm, soft pretzels you can get at the big game or a fair… only at home! Be sure you eat them the same day you make them though, preferably while they’re still warm. But that shouldn’t be a problem. Bring out the beer and mustard!
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) warm water (110 degrees F/43 degrees C)
1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. olive oil, plus more if needed
3 1/4 cups (16 1/2 oz./515 g.) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) baking soda
coarse salt for sprinkling
grainy mustard for serving
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the warm water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the 3 tablespoons oil, the flour, and kosher salt. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough on medium-low speed until smooth, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and brush the parchment with oil. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, then cut it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope about 18 inches (45 cm.) long. With each rope positioned horizontally, bring the 2 ends up and toward the center as if forming an oval, cross one end over the other, and press each end into the bottom of the oval to create a pretzel shape. Place the pretzels on the prepared pan, spacing them evenly.
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Fill a large, wide saucepan with 7 cups (56 fl. oz./1.75 l.) water, stir in the baking soda, and bring to a boil. Gently drop 2 or 3 pretzels at a time into the boiling water (be careful not to overcrowd them). Boil for just under 1 minute, turning once with a large slotted spoon or spatula. Return the boiled pretzels to the baking sheet, top side up.
- Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt. Bake until beautifully browned, about 10 minutes, rotating the pans about halfway through. Serve warm with big spoonfuls of grainy mustard. Makes 12 pretzels.