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The Pretzel
Our most recent COORDINATES was dedicated to our favorite snack and indispensable fall-sports sidekick, the Pretzel. Our friend, folklorist Emily Hilliard, invited us to her kitchen for an afternoon of Dogfish Ale and pretzel-making. Fact : German monks came up with this sustenance as early as the 9th century as a reward system ... it's a little more complicated to make than we guessed, but you can't imagine the delicious taste one of these homemade twists. The labor and wait was worth it and we asked Emily to adapt a favorite recipe for us all to get behind.
The MUTINY twist was adding Meats & Foods andouille sausages. Emily cooked them to perfection in a slick iron skillet before wrapping them in the reserved pretzel dough ... the super grainy Port City Ale mustard she made earlier that morning just made everything A MEAL. Hovering aside, we can't say we were much help - we finished our 'meal' on her deep front porch with the autumnus sun.
The Pretzel
HOMEMADE PRETZELS adapted from The Kitchn Makes 8 pretzels or pretzel-wrapped sausages 1 cup warm water 2 Tablespoons active dry yeast 2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour 1 tablespoon sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt 1/4 cup baking soda 1 tablespoon barley malt syrup, rice syrup, or dark brown sugar (I used brown sugar) 1 large egg, whisked with 2 tablespoons warm water Coarse kosher salt or pretzel salt Vegetable oil, for coating the bowl

Directions 1. To make the pretzel dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk by hand to dissolve the yeast. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour, sugar, and sea salt. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a stiff and shaggy dough. 2. Using the dough hook of a stand mixer, knead the dough on low for 5 minutes. If the dough is very sticky after 1 minute, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it forms a ball and is soft, slightly tacky, and holds its shape in a ball. 3. Clean out the bowl, coat it with oil, and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with a dishcloth and let rise in a warm place until the dough is doubled in bulk, approximately 1 hour. (After this step , you can refrigerate the dough for up to 3 days before boiling and baking. Make sure dough is wrapped tightly in plastic wrap before refrigerating). 4. Once dough has risen, turn it out on a lightly floured surface, and divide into 8 equal pieces. 5. To shape the pretzels, roll each piece of dough into a long, skinny rope, about 20 in. long. Bring the ends of the rope toward the top of your work surface and cross them. Cross once again to form a twist, and then fold the twist over the bottom loop to make a pretzel shape. Place each pretzel on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and set aside while you form the rest. When all pretzels are formed, cover them loosely with a dishcloth and let rise until puffy, about 30 minutes. 6. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and place oven rack in the middle-bottom. While pretzels are rising, prepare the water bath. Pour 8 cups of water into a tall, wide pot and place on high heat (make sure pot is tall because water will bubble up when you add the baking soda). Once water is at a rapid simmer, add the baking soda and the barley malt/rice syrup or brown sugar. Stir to dissolve, then reduce heat to medium to maintain a simmer. 7. Once pretzels have risen, lower 2-3 pretzels into water bath at a time. Simmer for 30 seconds on one side, then flip using a slotted spoon or metal spatula. Simmer for 30 seconds more, then remove from water and return to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pretzels. They should be puffed, doughy, and slightly puckered. 8. When pretzels have simmered in the water bath, brush them with egg wash and sprinkle them with coarse kosher salt. Bake in the oven until they are deep grown and glossy, 12-15 minutes. 9. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool until they're cool enough to eat. Serve fresh and hot with homemade whole-grain beer mustard and Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale!

PRETZEL-WRAPPED SAUSAGES 4 large sausages (we used Meats & Foods' andouille sausages) pretzel dough

1. Cook sausages in a skillet, drain grease, and cut in half. Let cool. 2. Prepare pretzel dough as indicated above, but instead of shaping dough ropes into pretzel shape, coil them around each sausage, starting at one end and finishing at the other. Seal edges so entire sausage is covered and dough will stay wrapped in the water bath. 3. Follow steps above for simmering. When it comes time for the egg wash and coarse kosher salt sprinkle, you may also want to sprinkle on some fresh cracked black pepper. Follow instructions for baking--the bake time is about the same as for regular pretzels. 4. Remove from oven, and let pretzel dogs cool on a wire rack. Serve with homemade whole grain beer mustard (see blog) and Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale!


Enjoy more of our friend Emily at ... all photos Justin T. Gellerson

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