Was it fate that the creation of these little beauties coincided with a day that calls for snack food overload? Perhaps.
But in truth my only real interest in sports is having an excuse to drink beer and eat snacks. I made these mostly because I wanted to put beer in pretzels and call them pretz-ales.
Homemade soft pretzels may seem like too daunting of a task to attempt at home but remember these guys? The hardest part is finding the time in your busy schedule to make them.
With pretz-ales all you need is an hour or two so they are the perfect little snack to whip up when you have more important things to do. Like beer to drink. Or perhaps have a game to watch.
Pretz-ales (Soft Beer Pretzels)
Makes 32 miniature pretz-ales
Adapted from Martha Stewart
For the dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams) yeast
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
2 teaspoons (9 grams) sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water
1 cup (236 ml) beer
3 cups (500 grams) flour
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
2 tablespoons (32 grams) butter, softened
For the bath:
1/4 cup (50 grams) baking soda
Flaky salt, for sprinkling
Combine the yeast, salt, sugar in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Add the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes or until foamy.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and cayenne pepper. Cut the softened butter into the flour until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Add the beer to the yeast mixture (it will foam!) and stir briefly to combine. Add the liquid to the flour and mix until the dough comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until no longer sticky. Cover with plastic wrap (just leave it right on the counter) and let rise for 30 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly oil the paper. Set aside. Divide the dough into 32 pieces, keeping the unrolled pieces covered with plastic while you work. Roll one ball into a 12-inch long rope. Form a U shape and twist the ends together twice. Fold the twisted part backward onto the center of U shape to form a circle. Gently press the ends of the rope onto the dough to seal.
Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining dough. Let rise for 20 minutes. While you wait, preheat the oven to 475 and fill your largest pot with at least 5 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil (which took my pot about 20 minutes, or exactly the time of the rise! Win!)
When the pretzels have risen and the water is boiling, add the baking soda and gently transfer as many pretzels that will fit comfortably to the bath. Cook for a minute on each side and return to the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm with mustard.