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Big Black Dog: Soft Pretzels and the Minnesota v. Chicago Football Game

January 7, 2010

Soft Pretzels and the Minnesota v. Chicago Football Game


I love football and have always looked forward to the season. And every year I plunk down my money for season tickets. But geesh, the Chicago Bears are absolutely in the toilet this year! I don't mind when my team loses a game but when they play SOOOooooo bad, it really is embarrassing. So when it came time for the Minnesota v. Chicago game I knew I had to soften the blow of another loss and decided to make some Soft Pretzels to munch on during the game.

The big, giant mall pretzels, oozing with yellow mustard and encrusted with way too much salt, are not my favorite thing in fact the smell is disgusting. So when I made my Pretzels I used very little salt and of course went overboard sprinkling with seeds. And I eliminated everything in the water bath and just added 2 TBL of Barley Malt Syrup. The Pretzels were DE-licious and I would make them again and again!


By the way, the Bears won the Minnesota game, 36 to 30, in OT. It was great!



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Pretzels
Recipe adapted from my friend, Nancy


1 package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour

For the water bath:
2 quarts water
1/4 cup amber beer
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

I eliminated all the above for the water bath and just used 2 qts of water and 2 TBL of Barley Malt Syrup.

Toppings:
4 TBL melted butter
Kosher Salt, Poppy Seed, Pepitos, Parmesan Cheese, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds or anything you want.

Makes 12 Pretzels

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water.

Stir in flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise for one hour.

After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner. Twist into a pretzel shape and place on a baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Simmer the pretzels: In a 10-inch-wide stainless-steel pot, combine the water, beer, baking soda, and brown sugar and bring to a simmer. Place 2 pretzels at a time in the water bath. Cook for 10 seconds and flip, using a skimmer or slotted spoon. Cook for another 10 seconds, and with the skimmer, lift above the pan to drain. Then transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet, rounded sides up.

Brush pretzels with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, sugar/cinnamon, coarse salt, etc., be creative.

Bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with additional melted butter, if desired. Serve warm.



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36 Comments:

Blogger Pam said...

I am not a football fan, but during bowl season it is on at our house seemingly 24/7. These pretzels would make it much more tolerable!

January 7, 2010 at 5:50 AM  
Anonymous Kayte said...

So busy stealing the recipe, almost forgot to leave a comment and thank you. Those look wonderful. Plenty of ballgame watching around here...not the Bears, of course, but you know...some of those OTHER teams.

January 7, 2010 at 6:47 AM  
Blogger Lori E said...

I made pretzels once. They were rather tough. I will try this instead.
They won't make me watch football however. Basketball? Absolutely.

January 7, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Your pretzels look great with the seed topping and the beer bath sounds like an interesting method. I have only tried the almost-famous soft pretzels on the food network (they taste a lot like the ones in the mall) and we love them. I like this recipe based on the beer bath alone. I'll have to give it a try.

January 7, 2010 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger Fresh Local and Best said...

I love soft pretzels, but have never tried to make it at home. This looks great! I like that the bath calls for beer.

January 7, 2010 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Great looking pretzels. We too are flooded with bowl games and now the play offs of the NFL! Bama's big game is tonight. Hope they do well.

January 7, 2010 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger YankeeQuilter said...

This sounds like a fun recipe to try at quilt retreat next week...those cabins can get cold so baking a few things helps!

January 7, 2010 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I'd love to congratulation the Bears but I am forbidden by Wisconsin law - LOL.

Your pretzels sounds like the perfect football treat - I love all the sprinkles!

January 7, 2010 at 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Natanya said...

Those look fantastic - I think they would be perfect for a Super Bowl party because they have the feel of stadium food but so very much better. Putting them on my "to make" list.

January 7, 2010 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger The Quintessential Magpie said...

Temptation... thy name is Michelle! Oooooooh, pure unadulterated sin. Those look SO tempting! Is your name really Eve???

XO,

Sheila :-)

January 7, 2010 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger kat said...

The pretzels sound great but we were so surprised the Vikings lost

January 7, 2010 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

I'm not really into football but when it comes to baseball, my family and I are Mets fans...and they are constantly doing abominably. So I empathize. These pretzels look amazing though! Bookmarked!!

January 7, 2010 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Sook said...

Wow... i'm drooling here.... These pretzels look perfect! Incredible!

January 7, 2010 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

this look beautiful! I love everything bagels so these sound like the perfect pretzel to me

January 7, 2010 at 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Kelly @ EvilShenanigans said...

One word ... YUM! I love homemade pretzels, and your topping choices are making me really hungry for one of those!

January 7, 2010 at 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl B. said...

You think the Bears are doing bad .... was it last year or the year before, our Lions didn't win one single game - not one - all season long 8-/

I am not a sports fan. Never have been.

The only socceer, rugby, basketball or wrestling matches I missed when my sons played were due to medical reasons - like when I was having emergancy dental surgery while there was a game going on ....
Anyways, I am NOT a sports fan - only went to all of those cuz one of my guys was out there playing or wrestling ...

but even I know that your suppose to win at least one game during a season!!!

;-p

January 7, 2010 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger The Muse said...

There are few things in life that just PAIR together...football and pretzels...OH YEAH!

January 7, 2010 at 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Yum... Your pretzels look great. I love all of the toppings!

January 7, 2010 at 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Mmmmm - pretzels and mustard! Reminds me of my years of living in Manhattan.

But I'll settle for Monday Night Football and a pretzel (without too much salt!)

January 7, 2010 at 9:33 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

I love soft pretzels, but I have never tried to make them....with this recipe, I think I can. Thanks for sharing.

January 7, 2010 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger heartnsoulcooking said...

Two things that go GREAT!!! together Football and Pretzels.
Geri

January 7, 2010 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Michael Lee West said...

What a great recipe, the perfect thing for the Superbowl.

January 8, 2010 at 1:56 AM  
Blogger honeysuckle said...

I have never tried making pretzels but would like to so I am bookmarking your recipe. Thanks. I will leave the football watching to you, though.

January 8, 2010 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Joyce said...

Making them using the beer sounds interesting. I think I will copy this and give it a try for superbowl Sunday party if we are invited to a party? If not I will have to just make them for myself and hubby.
Joyce

January 8, 2010 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

These look amazingly good. They are perfect for the big game. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us. Have a fabulous Foodie Friday.

January 8, 2010 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow, those look beautiful! I love the seeds instead of salt!

January 8, 2010 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger mangocheeks said...

These are perhaps, no in fact they are the best looking pretzels i've ever seen!

January 9, 2010 at 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Jay said...

Over here in England, we get only those games that Sky decides we can have. Usually it's the most popular or successful teams, so we haven't seen a Bears' game in quite some time. I'm SO glad to hear that they won that week - sounds like a tight game, too. This week we were reduced to being happy that the Patriots lost!

Back in 1985 I started watching NFL and that (of course) was the year they won the superbowl, with the late, great, Walter Payton in the team.

The pretzels I can do without, I'm afraid. I have a problem with yeast. LOL!

January 11, 2010 at 4:01 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

Oh, the temptation! Could you make some for me? I guess I'm on my own there, huh. Thanks for the recipe, maybe I'll give it a try.

January 11, 2010 at 8:31 AM  
OpenID awarewriter said...

Beautiful photos of "sort of" soft pretzels. I was born and raised in Phila., the soft pretzel capital of the world. Need salt (not too much) but mustard is mandatory.

January 11, 2010 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

congrats on the win! and those bagels look so darned good. One of my goals is to make soft pretzels. I'll probably put too much salt, lots of melted butter and tons of garlic. I have to admit that Im a mall pretzel fan! LOL

January 11, 2010 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

These look amazing! love seeds on top!

April 14, 2010 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Bookmarking this for sure! Can't wait to try them.

April 14, 2010 at 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Maggy @ Three Many Cooks said...

Those look incredible. I am bookmarking these for the next big party at our house. YUM!

April 15, 2010 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger Cookin' Canuck said...

These are adorable and absolutely perfect for an afternoon of watching football.

April 15, 2010 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger How To: Simplify said...

I've always wanted to make soft pretzels. This is such a great recipe!

April 20, 2010 at 2:08 PM  

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