My youngest son and I spent last night holed up in the kitchen putting together a Father's Day treat for his Dad. Deserving of so much more than some homemade goodness, my husband really does like the simple things the best, and we set out to create something specifically for him. For some, this may be an easy task, but not for us. My guy is not a sweet eater, or a baked goods eater, but he is definitely a savoury-foods eater, and I used that as the inspiration for creating these spicy pretzels.
~ Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.
~ Add the flour, oil and seasonings and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
~ Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with olive oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a cloth and let rest in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
~ Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in a large saucepan.
~ In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined baking pan.
~ Place the pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds, on at a time. Remove them from the water using a large spoon or tongs. Return them to the baking pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 13 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
~ Serve with a honey mustard or roasted garlic dipping sauce.