pretz-ales (soft beer pretzels)

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.