Soft pretzels and beer are the perfect pair for game day. Serve as sliders with ham and cheese sandwiched in between and we'll call it a TOUCHDOWN!
2teaspoonskosher salt, plus more for topping
1 1/2cupswarm water(110 to 115 degrees F)
1package(2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
22ounces(about 4 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil(nonstick) spray, for pan and bowl
1large egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water (for egg wash)
Thinly sliced deli ham(I used Black-Forest)
Thinly sliced deli cheese(I used Swiss)
Mustard(I used a fancy mustard from a jar)
Optional: unsalted butter and garlic salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugar, salt and 1 1/2 cups warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Add the flour and mix with the dough hook attachment on low speed. Once the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl, wipe the bowl and then spray with the vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, turning once to cover both sides with the oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with vegetable oil; set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water to a boil in a large sauce pan or stock pot, then add the baking soda.
Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface or pastry mat. Divide into 24 equal large pieces (about 1.5 oz each). Shape each into a ball, then gently roll to form a slight football shape. Place onto the parchment lined baking sheets.
Working with six pretzels at a time, boil each pretzel for 30 seconds. Use a large slotted spoon or spatula to remove from the water and return to the pan. Brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash then sprinkle with kosher or pretzel salt. Use a sharp knife to gently score a vertical line in the center of each dough ball.
Bake in the preheated oven until dark golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.
(At this point, you can freeze the pretzel rolls after cooling to room temperature. When ready to serve, rewarm in a 350 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes, then continue with the next steps.)
Preheat oven to broil. Slice each pretzel roll in half and place open-faced on a baking sheet. Lightly butter the top side and sprinkle with garlic salt (optional). On the bottom half, layer a small thin slice of ham and top with a small thin slice of cheese. Repeat with as many of the pretzel rolls you can fit on a baking sheet. Broil, open-faced, for about 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the pretzels are crispy. Remove from oven, let cool until able to handle then spread a little bit of mustard on each top roll and close the sandwiches. Place on serving platter. Repeat with remaining rolls. Serve immediately.
Recipe Note: The more fresh the soft pretzels are when you freeze them, the better. Freeze up to 1 month. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes (until heated through).