Where there’s football, there’s food. There are many great options in the category of “traditional fare” but you might be in the mood for something different. Wingin’ It has you covered with a new Buffalo sauce-inspired recipe every week of the Buffalo Bills’ season. Get ready to win big in your kitchen as the Bills get ready for the Tennessee Titans. I mean, Kansas City Chiefs. Maybe. Whatever!
Who are we playing this week? When is the game? Gah, what a mess. The good news is that both Nashville and Kansas City are BBQ towns. Neither are known for the kind of sauce we’re doing here but I’ve already covered most major types of sauces so I may as well do a new one. I figure with the mess of a schedule we have going on what better way to represent the Tennessee and Kansas City than with a Carolina-inspired mustard BBQ sauce to go with homemade soft pretzels.
Soft pretzels and mustard-based BBQ
Active Time: 90 min
Total Time: 90 min
3⁄4 cup warm milk (around 110ºF)
3⁄4 cup warm water
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp finely chopped onions
1⁄2 cup hot sauce
1⁄2 cup prepared mustard
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1⁄4 cup brown sugar
9 cups water
1⁄2 cup baking soda
1 Tbsp water
- Make dough: Combine warm milk and 3⁄4 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl; stir in honey and salt.
- Gently stir in yeast, and allow it to foam, usually about 5 min.
- Add flour and melted butter; stir to combine until dough begins to form*. (Dough should be very slightly sticky. Add flour 1 -2 Tbsp at a time if needed.)
- Coat dough with olive oil; set aside to double in size—about 30 min.
- Make BBQ sauce: Melt butter in medium pan on MED.
- Add onions and sauté until they begin to soften and turn milky/clear.
- Add hot sauce, prepared mustard, white vinegar, and brown sugar; stir to combine.
- Reduce heat to MED/LOW; stir occasionally until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and set aside**.
- Make Pretzels: Preheat oven to 450ºF and lightly grease two cookie sheets.
- Combine 9 cups of water and baking soda in a large pot and bring to a boil. Continue with recipe while water heats.
- Roll pretzel dough into ropes on a lightly greased surface. (See tips for rolling and shaping below***.)
- Toss shaped dough into large pot of boiling baking soda-water mixture a small batch at a time. Flip after about 30 seconds; remove from water after additional 30 seconds and place on greased cookie sheets.
- When finished boiling pretzels, combine egg and 1 Tbsp water to make an egg wash.
- Brush the top of each pretzel with wash then sprinkle either coarse sea salt or your favorite seasoning. I used “Everything Bagel” seasoning.
- Bake 15-20 min, or until top is browned to a classic pretzel color. Bites will likely be done toward the 15 minute end, larger rolls might need closer to 20.
Wingin’ It Tips
- *I usually start with a wooden spoon and then finish by hand. A stand mixer with a dough hook is definitely an option as well.
- **If you time this right, as you finish the sauce the dough should be ready to use.
- ***The dough is very springy so work with smaller chunks of it. I separated mine into eight pieces. For pretzel bites roll the rope to about 1” thick and cut into 1” segments. For soft pretzels, roll the rope thinner, to about 1/2” thick and at least 12” long. Twist into the classic shape. For pretzel rolls, just roll the dough into balls. You can probably get around 12.
BONUS thing! Talkin’ pretzel liquid
As a bit of a confession, a good many of these recipes are my first try at things. That means a lot of research goes toward finding a recipe to use as my base from which to kick things off. A big thing I try to avoid is straight up copying someone’s recipe. That’s veeeeery difficult with soft pretzels. The most substantive change I made was to use honey to feed the yeast. Everyone else uses brown sugar. The second biggest change I made was the liquid.
If you are going to find variations in soft pretzel dough it’ll be that. Most call for 1 1/2 cups water. I found one that called for all milk. I decided to split the two. I also nearly went with beer. If you’re gonna experiment with flavor this is an easy way to do it.