Soft Pretzels & Mustard

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Soft pretzels are my go-to sporting event snack (sans electric orange cheese). When walking the concession loop at a stadium, other more “gourmet” options are tempting, but I am a creature of habit. The spectator experience would not be complete without a pretzel despite the taste of freezer burn and lackluster mustard.

Rather than limiting soft pretzel consumption to sports venues, I decided to bake a batch at home. The fresh flavor and chewy bites were addictive, and the imperfect shape, not found in factory-made pretzels, was quite appealing. Homemade mustard was a cinch to prepare and further elevated this game day snack.

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Homemade Mustard
Adapted from Emeril

3 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
2-1/2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
1/3 cup white wine (I used Riesling.)
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
Pinch ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Process the mixture in a blender until desired consistency. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.


Soft Pretzels
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes 16 pretzels

2-1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast (1/4 ounce)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
3 tablespoons baking soda
1 egg
1 tablespoon pretzel salt or coarse sea salt

Combine the yeast, kosher salt, sugar and warm water in a small bowl. Allow to stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl combine the flour and cayenne pepper. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until it is the consistency of coarse crumbs.

Pour the yeast mixture into the flour and stir until it becomes a shaggy dough. Turn the dough onto a floured worksurface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough into 16 pieces and roll into 10-inch ropes. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add baking soda. Boil pretzels 1 minute per side and transfer to a wire rack to drain.

Place the pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet. Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the egg wash on each pretzel and sprinkle with salt. Bake the pretzels for 15 minutes until they are a deep golden brown.

Serve warm with homemade mustard.

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