As you can see from the photo above, fall in The South hits us later than the rest of the country. Yes, we have pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin beer, but we also have vine-ripened watermellon and ripe peaches fresh in the farm stands.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t still get into the seasonal mood, with an amber pumpkin ale and a yeasty pretzel to enjoy with fall football. I never really watch football, but I love just having it on in the background on the weekends. A great backdrop when I’m making rich curries or wine-soaked beef short ribs with bacon and wild mushroom polenta (THAT was amazing, recipes to come!).
These pumpkin beer pretzels are not really pumpkin-flavored. Or beer flavored. But while you’re making them, you can sure smell it. Originally from We Are Not Martha, I had to tweak this recipe quite a bit to make it work – adding way more flour and kneading more than it originally called for. Actually, they were kind of a pain and made a huge, sticky floury mess. But they baked up nicely and were tasty with a side of grainy mustard and a frothy beer in an iced glass. I snuggled into my new sectional couch with my steaming pretzel and a weekend game, and I was set.
Pumpkin Beer Pretzels
- 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 t)
- 1/2 C warm water, plus 2 C warm water
- 1/2 T sugar
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t olive oil
- 1 C pumpkin beer of your choice
- 5-7 C all-purpose flour
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2-3 T coarse salt
- 1 T butter, melted
- In a large bowl, whisk yeast with 1/2 cup warm water. Let rest for about 5 minutes, until frothy.
- Stir in sugar, salt, and olive oil. Pour in the beer. With a wooden spoon, stir the flour in one cup at a time.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 8 minutes, adding more flour to keep it from sticking. It is done when it becomes a smooth, elastic ball. Put dough into a lightly oiled bowl, place in a warm spot, cover with a kitchen towel, and let sit for an hour or so to rise.
- Punch the dough down and divide into 12 balls. Roll each dough ball into a rope and shape the rope into a pretzel by forming into a “u” and crossing one end down, followed by the other end.
- Mix your remaining 2 C warm water with 1 t baking soda in a baking pan or other shallow dish. Dip the formed pretzels in. Place on a greased baking sheet. Continue with remaining dough balls. Cover with a kitchen towel again and let rise for another 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 425.
- Brush each pretzel lightly with beaten egg. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned on top.
- Right when they come out of the oven, brush them with a little melted butter for an extra yummy taste.
The crust is crunchy and the inside is nice and chewy. These aren’t as good as those ones you get at the mall, but still…
Spoon some spicy mustard into a dish for serving, or just eat away! They would also be good sawed in half for a sandwich.
Enjoy, friends! xoxo