Pretzels have a bad reputation and were scoffed at by Niki (as things often are), as being too casual. But when they’re soft and baked fresh, and dipped into vermouth-mustard, or honey-garlic-white pepper butter, they’re definitely not out of place as a civilized snack. I mean, if instead you want to buy them from some kind of roadside hot metal cart and brush them with powdered garlic or what have you, and dunk it into processed cheese, and eat it with baseball and bad American beer, I promise not to judge you. But it would probably be the responsible thing to do if you were to at least judge yourself.

These pretzels are best enjoyed fresh.

3 cups (875 mL) all-purpose flour, ½ cup for kneading.
2½ tsp (12 mL) or 1 pkg (8 g) yeast
2 tsp (10 mL) salt
¾ cup (175 mL) milk
2 tbsp (25 mL) cold butter
1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
⅓ to ½ cup (75 to 125 mL) cold water

Activate the yeast using 1/3 cup warm water until foamy or cloudy.

Combine the flour, yeast and salt. Mix briefly to combine.

Heat milk in micro wave for 45 to 60 seconds until very hot. Add butter, and when melted, stir in sugar and let cool, when the milk is warm (and no longer hot) add it to the flour and mix with your hands until a soft sticky dough forms. Add water a tsp at a time, if required. After it is thoroughly mixed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to double in size.

Deflate the dough and knead lightly. Cut the dough into 10 pieces and roll each into a long 1-1/2 inch thick snake. Twist it into a pretzel. Place on parchment and let rise.

Place racks in centre of oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C).

Brush tops with butter and liberally sprinkle coarse salt on top (I undersalted the first time *frowns.)

Bake until golden brown on top. I don’t remember how long. Maybe 15-20 minutes? I think I’ve said this before, but whoever said that baking is an exact science, was an absolute balls-out liar. Venture forth, non-scientific reader!

The Dirty Martini Mustard was purchased at De La Mer.

Dip making is also a non-science:
Honey Garlic White Pepper Butter
White Pepper

Let 1/4 cup butter butter melt in a saucepan
Add 1 tsp of finely minced or crushed garlic to the butter
Drizzle in 2 or 3 (or 4) tablespoons of honey
Stir in half a tablespoon of white pepper

Take a dip that is anything but skinny.