This holiday season pair one Belgian specialty with another - make homemade soft pretzels with Stella Artois. The salt may make you a little thirsty, so keep your favorite Belgian beer close by.
1 bottle (12 ounces) Stella Artois
¼ ounce baking yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
4 to 4½ cups all-purpose flour
10 cups water
⅔ cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
Heat Stella Artois in a small saucepan to about 110°F.
Turn off heat and mix in yeast until it’s fully dissolved.
Place 3 cups flour, butter, sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and the yeast mixture you just made into a large bowl.
Use a beater until the mixture is nice and smooth and stir in a cup of flour to form a soft dough that will start to become sticky.
Knead dough onto a floured surface until smooth and pliable (dedicate about 7-8 minutes to this).
Bring the dough into a greased bowl and turn it over to make sure the top has grease on it as well.
Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap. Make sure it’s in a warm place as it will rise until it doubles in size (should take about an hour).
Preheat oven to 425°. Pound the dough down and turn it onto a lightly floured surface.
Separate the dough into eight balls that will eventually be your pretzels. With your hands, begin rolling each ball until they are about 24-in. long ropes of dough.
Twist ropes into the famous pretzel shape (Curve ends as if making a circle and twist ends once. Lay the ends onto the bottom of the pretzel and press it down to set them in place).
Prepare a greased baking sheet and place your pretzels 2 inches apart.
Whisk egg yolk with a little bit of water and brush over pretzels. Add coarse salt to your satisfaction.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until you’ve noticed they’ve reached that perfect golden brown hue.
Let them cool, serve with mustard and enjoy!