So there is a restaurant up here that gives you 2 free cookies every Wednesday with your meal. While I’m not a fan of their cookies I love their Salted Pretzel Sticks appetizers. Now they, along with several other restaurants in the area buy them frozen from a mass producer. You should all know me by now and know that stuff like that doesn’t set well with me. I like home made stuff. Breads, even at a chain restaurant level, should be made homemade. It’s not that hard and it just gives so much more personalization to the establishment. When I first had these years ago I set out to make my own. It took a while to get it right – the taste and texture but I nailed it eventually. Then later on, when I discovered roasted garlic, these came ‘alive’ for me! The flavor went from awesome to FANFRIGGENTASTIC!
I literally ate these one night for dinner. Nothing else. Well okay I had a container of queso sauce but that’s it. I didn’t care and I’m not apologizing!
Now traditional pretzel rolls are dark brown in color. The true way to only achieve that is to use Food-Grade Lye. Lye, also known as Sodium Hydroxide or “Caustic Soda” is a very strong base, with a pH in the 13-14 range. That’s dangerous! You can permanently blind yourself if you accidentally splash lye in your eye! You can also give yourself a severe burn or cause tremendous damage to your skin. Yeah um no thanks, tis not for me. I’m not one to mess with chemicals. I was that person in Chemistry class that wanted to see how I could make stuff smoke, set fire or make sparks. Yeah… not smart *wink* LOL
However that’s not to say you can’t get a dark brown color with a baking soda bath and or a diastatic malt powder bath. These I just couldn’t hold off any longer – my stomach won over coloring.
This dish is perfect with a warm beer cheese sauce, queso and an ice cold beer. These are meant as appetizers or snacks – not as dinner but hey if you want it for dinner then go for it!
I won’t judge you… well I will if you won’t share!
So now who’s ready to get their yum on?Print
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook add the following in order – water, all purpose flour, bread flour, dry milk, garlic powder, oregano, roasted garlic, yeast and egg.
- Mix on low until just combined ~5 minutes using a spatula to scrape down.
- Add in the salt and turn the mixer to medium and mix for 7-8 minutes until the dough starts to become uniform and smooth.
- Add in the butter and mix until it comes back together. The dough will appear to ‘break’ but it will come back together. ~4 minutes. You want the dough to be smooth and slightly sticky.
- Lightly butter a bowl and place the dough in there.
- Cover and allow to double in size, ~60-90 minutes.
- Gently deflate the dough and transfer to a lightly greased work surface (just spray a large piece of parchment paper with cooking spray.
- Divide the dough into 10-12 even pieces.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Roll out each piece of dough into a 20” rope and then cut in to 4 equal sticks
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450F with the rack in the middle.
- While the sticks are resting, place the 8 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a hard boil.
- Add in the salt.
- Uncover the dough and place the tray next to the pot.
- Working fast, dump in the baking soda (it’ll bubble up so make sure you have a BIG POT!).
- Carefully place each pretzel stick into the boiling water and boil for 30 seconds.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove each ball, drain and place on the sprayed parchment paper.
- Repeat until all the balls have been boiled.
- Using a serrated knife, make deep slits (1/2” deep) on the top of each bun.
- Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle coarse salt on top (about 1/4-1/2 tsp each).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are a deep dark brown.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Store in a paper bag – you don’t want these in an air tight container otherwise they will get soggy.