German Soft Pretzel Sticks
Bring Oktoberfest home with this warm, chewy snack.
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 envelopes active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 5 3/4 cups flour all-purpose
- 3/4 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 tsp flaky salt
- yellow mustard for serving
Stir the brown sugar into 2 cups of warm water until dissolved in a large bowl. Then add the yeast over the water and let stand until foamy. Stir in the vegetable oil and 3 cups of the flour. Knead in the remaining 2 3/4 cups of flour and the dough will become slightly sticky.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until sticky. If the dough is too sticky, knead in up to 1/4 cup more flour. Then transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until doubled in bulk.
Preheat the oven to 450°. Line 3 large cookie sheets with parchment paper and butter 'em. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough lightly, flatten it out and cut it into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a 9-inch stick about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the sticks to the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between them. Let stand uncovered until they're puffed up.
In a large, deep skillet, stir the baking soda into 2 quarts of water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate. Using 2 slotted spoons, carefully transfer 6 pretzel sticks at a time to the simmering water 30 seconds, turning once; add about 1 cup of hot water after, but before cooking the second batch of pretzels. Transfer the pretzel sticks to paper towels to drain, then return them to the cookie sheets, spacing them evenly.
Brush the pretzel sticks with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake until richly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature, with your favorite mustard.