Similar to peanut butter and jelly or to wine and cheese, pretzels and beer are perfect pairings. When the leaves begin to change in New England and the forests are showing off their jewel tones, arm-thick, heart-shaped pretzels sprinkled with plenty of thick salt granules and a dollop of mustard are a fabulous tailgate treat for Saturday college football games. Add a foam topped beer, and there is certain to be some happy guests vying for seconds.
cuisine German
difficulty Moderate
season Fall


  • 500 grams bread flour
  • 9 grams kosher salt
  • 50 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 275 grams water, 110 degrees F.
  • 5 grams instant yeast


  • 2 quarts hot water (make as hot as possible from the tap)
  • 55 grams baking soda


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the flour, salt, instant yeast and mix on medium speed for 2.5 minutes.
  2. Add the softened butter and continue mixing the dough for about 5 minutes or until the temperature of the dough reaches 78 degrees F.
  3. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  4. Cut the dough into equally sized pieces that each weigh 113 grams and roll each into 30" inch long ropes. Let rest covered for 15 minutes.
  5. Cover a half sheet baking tray with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  6. Fold a rope into a U shape. Pick up the two ends and twist them around each other twice. Attach the twisted section to the bottom of the U. Take the twisted section of pretzel and fold it over until the ends meet the bottom of the U. Imagine the pretzel is a clock and attach the ends to the points where the numbers 5 and 7 would be, by pinching them firmly into the dough.
  7. Put the pretzels in the refrigerator uncovered for 1 hour to make them easy to handle.
  8. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  9. In a pot, whisk the baking soda into the hot water. Dip each pretzel into the hot water for 15 seconds making certain that the pretzel stays submerged.
  10. Remove the pretzel from the water at allow to drain on a wire rack.
  11. Place each pretzel on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking oil. Sprinkle with pretzel salt and place in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pretzels when they are light brown.