pickled pretzels

-these pretzels look innocent enough but in actuality they are secret taste ninjas going to do some kung fu moves on your taste buds-


As always it starts with a story...

A couple weeks ago my dad and I got in an argument. I distinctly remember saying something along the lines of "This is a bunch of crap!" and a few other savory remarks.

I overreacted and should have kept my mouth shut whereas my dad should have just kept his mouth shut. (*waving Hi Dad!)

A week later he called...

"What are you doing?"

"Making pretzels." I said rather curtly [insert snarky-sarcastic tone here] because there is no way our heroine would ever, never ever hold a grunge over a stupid argument now would she?

"You know what would be good? Pickle flavoring like in those sunflower seeds you like."

"oh...." grudge over with.

I've made these pretzels 10 ways to Sunday.

-covered in chocolate with pink salt
-sprinkled with dill seed-salt and a little garlic powder
-and dipped in Cost Plus World Market Dark Chocolate Spread (which is totally different than Nutella and is highly addictive)

[buy the spread or else the bunny gets it!!!]
[don't make me hurt the bunny]
[come on, i'm really not that evil, i don't want to hurt the bunny]

and my favorite...

pretzels flavored with pickle juice...

-it's all about the mustard-

pickled pretzels: (adapted from smitten kitchen)

2 cups warm dill pickle juice* (you know the stuff that's left over from the jar of pickles) 100°F to 110°F
1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons canola or other neutral oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1 large egg

*if you want to make regular pretzels use water instead of pickle juice and after coating the pretzels with egg wash but before placing them in the oven sprinkle with salt.

Pour warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar into bowl of electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and stir to combine. Sprinkle with yeast, and let sit 10 minutes; yeast should be foamy.

Add 1 cup flour to yeast, and mix on low until combined. Add salt and 4 cups more flour, and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat on medium-low until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup flour, and knead on low 1 minute more. If dough is still wet and sticky, add 1/2 cup more flour (this will depend on weather conditions); knead until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a lightly floured board, and knead about ten times, or until smooth.

Pour oil into a large bowl; swirl to coat sides. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to completely cover all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel, and leave in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.

Heat oven to 450°F. Lightly spray two baking sheets with cooking spray Set aside. Punch down dough to remove bubbles. Transfer to a lightly floured board. Knead once or twice, divide into 16 pieces.

Roll one piece of dough at a time into an 18-inch-long strip. Twist into pretzel shape; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel. Continue to form pretzels; eight will fit on each sheet (you may need a third sheet if making miniatures). Let pretzels rest until they rise slightly, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill large, shallow pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add baking soda (it foams up, almost seems to explode which is fun to show the kids. a good little chemistry lesson.) and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Reduce to a simmer; transfer three to four pretzels to water. Poach 1 minute on each side. Use slotted spoon to transfer pretzels to baking sheet. Continue until all pretzels are poached.

Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush pretzels with egg glaze. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack, or eat warm.

Tasting Notes: Garlicky, dilly, salty, savory... everything good about a pickle except the crunch (but in a good way)

I was thinking of rolling the pickle flavored dough around a hot dog and incorporating some mustard in there somehow.

-and for the sunflower seeds. Yes, they do make pickled flavored sunflower seeds BUT the David brand are for the birds you need to find the Spitz brand.


katie said...

LOVE the layout! I have been wanting to make pretzels for some time, the pickled ones sound great. It won't take long to go through a jar of pickles around here so maybe I can try them soon!

Sharon said...

Being a little bit afraid of pickles, I'm not quite sure what to think. I will say pickle juice or not, I'd eat at least 2 of these!

noble pig said...

Geez that sounds like a dream. You should market these to pregnant women too.

TheKitchenWitch said...

Noble is right--these would be pregnant women's crack! Genius!

I've never heard of pickle flavored sunflower seeds. With my love of everything salty, I reckon they'd be dangerous!

I'm giggling about the bunny...but just to be safe I'm going to purchase the chocolate spread next time I'm at Costco.

SaintTigerlily said...

I was going to just go home tonight and relax, what with the emergency room yesterday and then a huge thunderstorm last night I was looking forward to a relaxing evening. But NOW I have to go home and make these. AND I have to purchase and eat a jar of pickles to procure the juice.


TexasDeb said...

Genius. You think a mere mortal could pull these off without a stand mixer/dough hook set up? I swear I might finally buy one though just to make these, that is how good they look and sound....

krysta said...

@witchywoman... i want to warn you that it is cost plus NOT costco...before you start searching up and down for it there.

maybelle's mom said...

Alright, it might be b/c i am pregnant, but I have been obsessed with these all day after reading the post this morning.

Also, that bunny is so cute I wonder if it real. Animatronics?

Anonymous said...

The more I think about it, the better they sound.
Sweet pickles or dill pickles?

Mmmm... with a hot dog inside the pretzel...

krysta said...

@diane... DILL pickle juice... i'm not bread and butter or sweet pickle juice would be good... try it out and let me know.

on another note i'm glad you pointed it out because i had it written down to specify dill pickle juice. i guess i missed it. corrected.

grace said...

things to love:

-cherries on top
-pretzels and mustard
-cinnamon sugar anything
-bunny wabbits

TheKitchenWitch said...

Ah, so glad you saved me from wandering around Costco!

Hey, I gave you an award! Check out my blog to pick it up!

Kristin @ Going Country said...

I have to say, Krysta, that pickle pretzels are one of the most bizarre things I have ever heard of. That said, I would probably really like them, because I LOVE pickles (only my own, though--now that I make my own, I can no longer abide gross store-bought pickles) and bread.

Lisa said...

Pretzels are fun to make. So I'm wondering - why haven't I made any since one time, like twenty years ago, I went to a pretzel factory in PA with my kids and we sort of made some as a part of the tour? And those weren't even made with pickle juice, which would have to add to the fun. Dad's can be so clever sometimes!

Mrs. L said...

Seriously, pickle juice in the pretzels? SWOOOOONNN.

And please don't hurt the bunny. I'll stop by and get the chocolate spread on my way home from work!

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Why do you taunt me so? You know I am a Nutella addict and you go and tell me about another chocolate spread that is better than Nutella?

We used to have Cost Plus stores here on the east coast, but alas they are no more. Now we have the Job Lot and a Dollar store on every freakin corner.

Fantastic idea on the pretzels. I made pickles this weekend. We always seem to be on the same wavelength.

LilSis said...

OMG!!! My sister and I used to drink pickle juice. (And yes, it was dill pickle juice.) The pickled pretzels look so damn good! Not only do I have to watch my carbs these days but also my sodium. If I made these, I'd want to eat them all!!

Loni's World said...

Yum! You got me, I WILL try these.

Phoo-D said...

When I saw your post title I thought, "Um, What?!" That is one crazy idea to make pretzels from pickle juice. It's crazy and I think I like it!

P.S. "It's just a bunny. No, it's a killer rabbit!" Love that movie.

Snooty Primadona said...

I'm thinking I like your idea about wrapping one made with pickle juice around a hotdog. Yum! I'll take two with regular mustard, please...

The Duo Dishes said...


Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

Ooooooh, my Gooooooodnessssss, that bunny is SO cute!!!!

Mayberry Magpie said...

Oh my lordy, lord, lord, lord, LORD!

I can't think of two better flavors to blend. I'm nearly weeping at the thought. Except I know I will never make this recipe because I'm insanely lazy and pretzels SCARE me.

Couldn't you just mail me a few? :-)

BigSis said...

Krysta, those look amazing! I'm intrigued by the pickle juice ones. I can imagine them dipped into my new favorite condiment "Vivi's Carnival Mustard". You have to try it! BTW, love the little bunny!

Spryte said...

Pickle juice!! Interesting!!

I want to try that!

Kerry said...

Just made these. Amazing. It was my first pretzel making experience, and I'm planning to make a ton more this week for our 4th party. Thank you!!

Anonymous said...