Today's post kills 2 birds with one pretzel. The soft pretzel is here to herald in the first day of October (Oktoberfest), and to welcome the beginning of the division series in baseball. I think pretzels represent both of those things pretty well. To elaborate more on the pretzel, I have asked Mandi for a paragraph:
I've always been rather proud of my Philadelphia food heritage. You've read my slice. You've seen my cheesesteak post. if there is one thing Philly knows, it's food. In my opinion the two foods they do the absolute best are the cheesesteak and the soft pretzel. I could live on soft pretzels. Happily. The pretzel cart in the airport is the first place i run when i land home. There's absolutely nothing that makes me happier then a hot, fresh soft pretzel straight from one of their many pretzel factories first thing on a crisp Philadelphia morning. Recently I was home for a week visiting the family. I'd Estimate I had about three pretzels per day during that week. It was wonderful. Upon my return to this lovely island my body began to go through a soft pretzel withdrawal. I realized it was time to do something that Dan and I have been talking about ever since we saw Alton brown's on good eats. It was finally time to make soft pretzels.
After 5 minutes, the water was very foamy. This made me think back to a few weeks ago when I used some older yeast and did not get much foam at all. We get the large thing of yeast because we use a bunch for pizza, but I will have to remember to toss it after 6 months or so.
The recipe forms a nice dry dough. Easy to handle and great for beginners.
A cup of baking soda to 16 cups of boiling water. It seemed like a ton to me, but I guess it isn't all going into the pretzels..
There was varying opinions on boiling times around the internet. We did a bit longer then Alton suggested. About 20 to 30 seconds, flip, and 20 more.
This is equal parts egg yolk and water. It helps them get nice and brown on the outsides.
These would have been perfect if we had pretzel salt says Mandi. They tasted damn good to me with the salt we had. We pretty much rubbed all the salt off before eating but it imparted a really nice flavor to the surface.
Mandi likes plain old yellow mustard on her pretzels. We also had a small failure on some cheese sauce I decided not to show here. When we pull these babies out again for an Oktoberfest party in Boston later this month, I am hoping to make my own mustard.
Excellent! And pretty easy too. I think this would be a good thing to make for someone who isn't too confident about their baking abilities.
Check the recipe out here!