Most Pennsylvanians will tell you that a great pretzel isn’t easy to find, but as it turns out, they’d be wrong. It’s actually easy to make them right in your own kitchen — that is with a little help from the refrigerator section of your local supermarket and a delicious recipe for homemade spicy mustard.
Pennsylvania is known for many popular foods including cream cheese, the Philly cheesesteak and shoo-fly pie, just to name a few. But perhaps its most prevalent contribution to the American food scene is the humble pretzel. While the pretzel has its roots in Germany, it was popularized in the U.S. by a group of settlers who would later be known as the Pennsylvania Dutch. This National Pretzel Day, April 26, celebrate their contribution by making your own homemade soft pretzels in under half an hour with this simple recipe.
Petite soft pretzels
- 1 can refrigerated breadsticks
- 2 egg whites, beaten (reserve yolks for mustard)
- Kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Open breadsticks and unroll dough, separating into 12 breadsticks, then cut each piece of dough in half lengthwise.
- Roll each cut piece of dough lightly until it forms a 10-inch-long rope.
- On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, shape the pretzels into the traditional knot by creating a circle, and then letting the ends overlap one another by about two inches. Then twist the ends once where it overlaps. (Keep the individual pretzels one inch apart.)
- Brush each pretzel with beaten egg white and sprinkle with salt as desired.
- Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
Spicy mustard recipe
- 1/2 cup ground mustard
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon horseradish
- Combine the vinegar and mustard with a whisk in a medium saucepan and allow to stand for 20 to 30 minutes without turning on the heat.
- Whisk the sugar, horseradish and egg yolk into the liquid until smooth.
- Warm over medium heat (whisking constantly) until thickened (just when it begins to simmer, about seven minutes).
- Remove from the heat, let it sit for one minute, and then whisk in the honey.
- Serve warm or chilled for at least one hour before serving with pretzels.