My son recently made his school football team, and to celebrate, I thought it would be fun to make some football-themed food. As I brainstormed ideas, it occurred to me that there are very few foods that I would consider healthy when thinking of traditional football fare. But there are some delicious ones, like pretzels.
And the good news is that they’re also easy to make and super fun for the kids who can twist little snake-shaped dough into a myriad of shapes and symbols. It’s like edible Play Dough, and for once the kids will be encouraged to eat what they’ve made.
I like to serve my pretzels with a honey-mustard sauce, but any favourite dip will do. The tops can be sprinkled with coarse salt, fresh herbs or sesame seeds, and they always taste best when warmed prior to serving.
(Especially when you’ve scored your first touchdown.)
Tell me, what are your favourite game day snacks?
Soft Baked Pretzels
- 1½ cups warm water
- 2¼ tsp dry yeast
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 egg white
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 2 Tbsp coarse salt
Prep and Cook
- Coat a large bowl with vegetable oil and set aside. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir until yeast dissolves. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the flours, butter, honey, and salt. Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured surface and knead—incorporating additional flour as necessary—until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to the prepared bowl, turning over to coat with oil. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Punch down dough, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough evenly into 16 pieces. Form each piece into a ball, roll each ball out to a half-inch thick ‘rope’ and twist each rope into a pretzel shape. Cover and let rise for 15 minutes.
- Whisk together the egg white and 1 Tbsp water and set aside.
- Bring 4 cups of water and baking soda to a boil. Poach pretzels (2 or 3 at a time) for 30 seconds on each side. Transfer pretzels to a parchment-lined baking pan, brush lightly with the egg-white mixture, and sprinkle with the coarse salt.
- Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, and serve warm.