Who doesn't love pretzels? They play a pretty integral role in my life:
• Born in South Philadelphia, I didn't have a pacifier, I had a soft pretzel in my mouth at all times.
• I have watched my brother scarf down enough Auntie Anne's pretzels to feed a family of four for a week.
• Growing up, there was nothing better than getting ready to head out to school before 8am and my grandparents surprising us before we left with a still-hot brown paper bag of those chewy figure-8 pretzels (aka my pacifiers.)
Homemade pretzels were always a treat in my house – they weren't something that we made often, and when we did, it was a special day. However, after discovering this recipe from Half Baked Harvest, I now have a pretzel recipe that's being put into use almost every weekend.
I love bread recipes that have beer. It allows for flavor customization and an airiness provided by the carbonation. This recipe uses pumpkin beer, but feel free to use other flavors at different times of the year to showcase the seasons. I also made these into mini pretzels, while the recipe originally has dough only divided into 8 absolutely huge pretzels. You can even make them into tiny pretzel bites, just make sure to adjust the baking time accordingly. I topped a third of the pretzels with salt, a third with cinnamon sugar, and a third with a blend of pumpkin pie spices. Be creative, customize these babies are you please.
Mini Beer Pretzels
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 1/4 tsps dry active yeast
- 1 cup pumpkin beer
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 2/3 cup baking soda for boiling the pretzels
- 1 egg, beaten
- Any toppings you like!
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, combine the water, sugar, and yeast until combined, and let it sit for five minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the beer, butter, salt, and flour. Turn the speed up to medium, and let the mixer go until the dough pulls away from the bowl and all of the flour is combined. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead the dough, rolling it into a smooth ball. Don't knead it too long though! Place the dough in a bowl lightly greased with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest for an hour in a warm, dry place.
Boil a large pot of water and preheat your oven to 425ºF. Remove the dough from the bowl and tear off pieces depending on how big you want your pretzels to be. Roll the dough and twist it how you like, or make pretzel bites! Place the pretzels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. After all of the pretzels have been knotted or pieced out, pour the baking soda into the boiling water. Be careful – it will boil up at first! Place a couple of pretzels into the boiling water for about two minutes, making sure to dunk them down in to the water every so often. Don't crowd the water. I placed about six pretzels in the water, but the number depends on their size. Using a spider or a slotted spoon, take out each pretzel and place back onto the baking sheet. After all of the pretzels have been boiled, brush egg wash over them and top with whatever toppings your heart desires. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, again this will depend on the size, and how dark you like your pretzels to be.
These pretzels are so good and so eatable, they're dangerous. Dip them in cheese, chocolate, marinara sauce, whatever it is that you like!
My name is Alexandra Jade, but you can call me Alex, or Trin. I am a Food Studies major at New York University, and a freelance photographer, journalist, and social media pro on the side. I run the instagram account @twobrunchgirls.