Moustaches seem to be everywhere these days: on keychains, pushpins, bandaids and more. My household is no exception.
So, when we recently made soft pretzels, it didn’t surprise me when one of my children suggested we make pretzel moustaches. Starting with a basic preztel dough (recipe follows), we rolled them out, thicker in the middle and long and thin at the ends.
Then, we twisted in the midde so it would pinch in, where the two “halves’ of the moustache should join. Then we gave some of them a nice twirl, like a good handlebar moustache needs.
Given that our pretzels tend to be somewhat freeform, it was not too much of a stretch to make them. Plus, it was really fun.
Here’s what they looked like baked. (The secret to getting the rich, dark color is a quick dip in a boiling baking soda solution before baking… more on that in the recipe.)
Soft Pretzel Recipe for making moustaches
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted (I used margarine because of a dairy allergy in the family)
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
2 quarts water
1/2 cup baking soda
Coarse sea salt
Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with the dough hook until combined and then let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and starts to form a ball. This should not take more than a few minutes. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a floured surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
Oil a bowl with olive oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil.
Cover with a clean, damp towel and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size. This should take about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Bring the water to a boil in a small square pan over high heat and dissolve the baking soda.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat, floured surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, about 3 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope and shape into the lengths or shapes that you want. Possibly moustaches?
Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.
Drop each pretzel into the baking soda/water solution for about 30 seconds and then remove with a large slotted spoon (or two) and place on prepared baking sheet. Season liberally with the salt.
Place into the oven and bake for 16 to 18 minutes until dark golden brown.