Easy Pretzel Sticks with Three Mustards

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Homemade Pretzel Sticks with Three Mustards

Makes about 30 pretzels

There’s no comparing standard snack-aisle pretzel sticks with these homemade chewy treats. Certainly feel free to buy a few fancy flavored mustards at the store to use for the dips, but these do-it-yourself combinations will have brighter fresh flavor. Offer perhaps four small bowls of each, letting guests pick the flavor they prefer. But don’t be surprised when there is long-distance dipping in a neighbor’s dish at the table.

Pretzel Sticks

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3⁄4 cup warm (about 105°F) water
  • 1 teaspoon (1⁄2 package) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Coarse salt, for finishing

Herbed Mustard

  • 1⁄2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced tender fresh herbs (chives, flat-leaf parsley, chervil, tarragon, and/or basil)

Roasted Garlic Mustard

  • 1⁄2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons puréed roasted garlic

Smoke and Spice Mustard

  • 1⁄2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

To make the pretzel sticks, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl and stir to mix. Make a well in the center. Pour the warm water into the well and sprinkle the yeast over. Set aside until the yeast is frothy, about 5 minutes.

Stir the dough with a wooden spoon, drawing in the flour from the edges. Continue to stir the dough until it begins to come together in a ball. Transfer it to a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes, adding a bit more flour if needed. Put the dough in a bowl (it could be the same bowl in which you mixed the dough), cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

While the dough is rising, make the mustards. Stir the ingredients for each in a separate small bowl.

Just before the dough has finished rising, fill a large skillet or sauté pan with 2 to 3 inches of water and set it over medium-high heat; reduce the heat to medium-low if it comes to a boil while you’re still working on the dough.

Punch down the dough and cut it into about 30 even portions, each roughly the size of a marshmallow. Roll one portion of dough to a stick 7 to 8 inches long. Set on a lightly floured baking sheet and continue with the remaining dough.

Return the water to a boil if needed, add the baking soda, and reduce the heat to medium. Add 8 to 10 of the pretzel sticks to the water and simmer for 1 minute, then roll the pretzels to their other side and simmer 1 minute longer. Lift the pretzels out with tongs or a large slotted spoon to a tray, then arrange them on a wire rack to drain and cool. (I put a dish towel under the rack to catch drips, and excess salt later.) Repeat with the remaining dough, reheating the water between batches as needed.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Set 2 oven racks on the centermost levels.

Beat the egg yolk with the water in a small dish. Brush the pretzels with the yolk mixture and sprinkle with coarse salt. Transfer the pretzel sticks to the baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, switching the trays about halfway through for even cooking. While the pretzels are baking, transfer the mustards to serving bowls.

Let the pretzel sticks cool a bit on a wire rack and then arrange them on a platter or upright in a large glass, slightly warm or at room temperature. Set the bowls of mustards alongside, with spoons for guests to spoon some onto their own plates.

Notes:

-Make a double batch of pretzel dough. You may have enough mustard with the original recipe amounts.
-Best not to halve.
-The pretzels can be baked up to 4 hours before serving. The dips can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

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