If you haven’t already make the Quick Crockpot Fondue recipe from Monday, I’ll just assume it’s because you were waiting for this Rustic Soft Pretzel recipe to go with it.
Truly, pretzels and fondue are a match made in heaven.
These little pretzels are spiced with paprika and oregano, then topped with sea salt for that classic soft pretzel taste.
I’ve dubbed them “rustic” as I thought calling them ugly might hurt their feelings. You could certainly take more care than I did while you are forming them into little pretzels, but I was hungry when I made these so they became “rustic.”
I know that the recipe instructions seem really long, but that’s mostly because I felt the need to write out how to make a pretzel shape out of dough. I know you’re supposed to twist them around a lot in the middle, but these are mini-soft pretzels so there wasn’t a lot of extra dough to work with. Heck, you could even just make these into soft pretzel rods if you wanted to.
The trick to getting the right texture to these pretzels is poaching them in water before baking them. It just adds a few minutes on to the time it takes to make them, and it is the key to delivering that chewy interior. Mmm.
Make these pretzels along with a batch of the Crockpot Fondue and you are sure to impress. I made these on a Sunday at our house and the husband was very excited when I brought them into the living room for him. Every once in a while I like to put on an apron and feel a bit like Betty Draper by bringing food to the husband while he’s watching football in his pajamas.
He actually suggested installing a conveyor belt in the house so the food could be brought directly to him as it comes out of the kitchen. I told him to take a hike.
These disappeared very quickly in our house, so snack on a few while they’re still warm to make sure you get your fair share.
For the dough
- 1 c. warm water
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 packet active dry yeast (1 1/8 tsp.)
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 1/4 c. bread flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp. olive oil
For the poaching water
- 2 Tbsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. sugar
For the spice coating
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 2 Tbsp. coarse sea salt
Make the Dough
- Place the warm water, yeast, and 2 tsp. of sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or other large bowl. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, until frothy and foamy. Add in the salt.
- With the paddle mixer attached, turn the mixer on low and add in the flour 1/2 cup at a time (or, stir vigorously with a wet wooden spoon if not using a mixer).
- Once the mixture has come together and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl, switch to the dough hook and knead on medium-low for 5 minutes (or, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for five minutes).
- Place the dough in bowl oiled with 1 tsp. olive oil, cover with a towel, and let sit for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Once risen, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper then greasing it lightly with cooking spray. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Take one piece of dough, dust very lightly with flour, then roll out on your counter or large cutting board into a long strip. It's best to use two hands and start in the center, rolling the dough and moving your hands in opposite directions out onto the ends. This helps keep the strip even, rather than being too heavy in the middle and thin on the ends. Pick up the rolled out strip by both ends so it makes a large U. Gently touch the bottom of the "U" shape down onto the greased parchment paper, then cross the left end over to the right side, and the right side over to the left side to make a pretzel shape. Gently press down the ends to help it stick to the base of the pretzel. Repeat with remaining 7 pieces. Let the pretzels rest for 15 minutes to rise.
Poach the Pretzels
- Meanwhile, bring a shallow pot of water to a boil over high heat, then add in the baking soda and sugar. Reduce the heat to low as soon as the 15 minutes of rise time is up. Place four pretzels into the water and let cook for 1 minute. Flip them over using a slotted spoon or pancake turner and let the other side cook for one minute. Use the slotted spoon to remove the pretzels from the water and place back onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining four pretzels.
Coat with Spices and Bake
- Pour the garlic powder and 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a shallow bowl. One by one, dredge the poached pretzels through the oil so they are nice and coated. Return to baking sheet. Dust the oiled pretzels with paprika, oregano, and sea salt.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, turn off the bake setting and turn the broiler on to low. Let broil for 2 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with lots of fondue.