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Mustard Soft Pretzels from 'Salty Snacks'

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Mustard Soft Pretzels [Photograph: Jennifer Martiné]

Soft pretzels are one of the most ideal game-day snacks. They're finger-friendly, slightly savory, salty, and extra bready to soak up all that beer. Making them at home looks complicated, but it's not much more difficult than making any other yeast bread.

In Salty Snacks, Cynthia Nims presents a perfect pretzel recipe for anyone looking to get on the homemade pretzel train. Hers is a fairly basic pretzel dough (AP flour, yeast, a single rise, and a quick boil in baking soda water) but it is enhanced with malt powder and (cleverly) mustard. The vinegary spice and pop of the mustard seeds adds character to the pretzel and it makes for easy eating (no condiments necessary).

Why I picked this recipe: Mustard on pretzels is great, so why not put mustard in pretzels?

What worked: Just about everything--these pretzels were a huge hit with kids and adults alike.

What didn't: I found it easier to form the pretzels if I preshaped the dough into short logs and let it relax for about 5 minutes before rolling.

Suggested tweaks: While the subtle pop of mustard seeds was nice, I think I'd want even more mustard flavor next time around. Increasing the mustard by too much may affect the pretzel's texture, so I'd add some dry mustard powder to the flour before mixing. I also had a hard time finding plain malt powder (as opposed to malted milk powder), so I substituted malt syrup and went down on water by 3 tablespoons. This worked just fine.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Salty Snacks to give away.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer out of Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American and blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.

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