Oh my gawd I love me some soft pretzels, but since I haven’t been in a mall since 2009 I rarely have them. Then I realized I could come really close to those mall pretzels by making them at home.
It didn’t take long before becoming bored with making the same pretzel shapes over and over and switching to making pretzel snakes (read: pretzel sticks). Those snakes morphed into these pretzel mustaches because, frankly, I can’t resist playing with my food.
This is a pretty standard pretzel recipe, but sized down because you can only eat/play with so many mustache pretzels. Feel free to play with different mustache shapes, but no stubby Hitler mustaches please. Danke.
- 1 ½ cups 115 degree water
- ½ Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ envelope active dry yeast
- 11 oz flour
- 1 oz unsalted butter, melted
- 10 cups water
- ⅔ cup baking soda
- 1 egg plus 1 Tbsp water for egg wash.
- Cinnamon and sugar (optional)
- Use a thermometer to make sure your water is between 110-115 degrees (the perfect temp for the yeast – too hot and you’ll kill it!). Add the water, sugar and salt to a standing mixer bowl and stir. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water mixture and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the flour and melted butter and mix over low using a dough hook. Increase the speed…the speed for knead….umm, to medium low for about 4 minutes. Remove the dough, wash out the mixing bowl and coat the inside with cooking spray. Form the dough into a ball and place back in the bow. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay a piece parchment paper on a cookie sheet and coat with a light layer of cooking spray. Fill a wide pot or Dutch oven with 10 cups of water and boil.
- While the water is boiling, roll out the dough on a lightly oiled surface into a longer baguette shape and divide into 16 parts (the middle 6 segments will be longer than the rest and can be cut in half again). Take a segment and roll it out into a rope about 8 – 10 inches long. Transfer the dough rope to the oiled parchment and shape into a comically large mustache. You’ll want to exaggerate the mustache shape by squishing it a bit into more of an “M” shape, and pinching off and curling up the ends. Continue until you have filled the sheet.
- Add the baking soda to the boiling water. Place 3 to 4 pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds and then flip with a wide spatula. After another 30 seconds carefully remove the slippery dough from the pot to the same baking sheet to rest. Once the boiled dough has cooled you can pinch and reshape as needed.
- Brush the dough with the egg wash and liberally sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese or kosher salt. Leave a few plain if you want to add cinnamon and sugar after baking. Place in a 450 degree oven until golden brown for 12-14 minutes. Let rest on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes then move to a cooling rack.
- For a sweeter version, mix equal parts cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Brush both sides of the cooked pretzel with melted butter and dunk it in the cinnamon mixture being sure to evenly coat both sides.
- Wear on your face for a few minutes, and take a selfie before enjoying with your mouth. Please, for the love of pretzel, post the pic in our comments section. Place the rest in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds before eating.