My oldest son is a carbaholic. That boy will eat any fresh baked bread product that comes his way. The excitement in his voice when he comes running up the stairs shouting, "Do I smell rolls baking?!?!" Makes my time in the kitchen so worth it.
Though who can blame him? Fresh bread IS the best. He is also a huge fan of warm pretzels, but I rarely make them at home. So this past rainy weekend, we were all home staying warm as the kids get over nasty colds, and mom makes batch, after batch of pumpkin pretzels.
Keeping the oven going all weekend helped me get on top of some baking I needed to do for the blog, however, the dark dreary days are less than stellar lighting conditions for shooting photos of food. So can I just talk about how obsessed I am with taking photos with my iPhone rather than lugging out my DSLR? I'm finding it much easier to create the style photo I love using the vscocam app, and it is SO much easier to get right during these darker months.
Now as for these pretzel sticks, most people would opt to add cinnamon and sugar to their pumpkin pretzels, most recipes I have seen have gone that route. However I opted for traditional sea salt because I have big plans of dipping my warm pretzel sticks into buttery and sweet caramel sauce. The salty sweet mixture is just too good.
Pumpkin Pretzel Sticks
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup warm water
1 packet of Red Star Platinum Yeast
1 tbs sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbs kosher salt
4-5 cups high gluten flour (something like King Arthur's Sir Lancelot Flour. If you can't find that, use bread flour or AP)
Large pot of boiling water
1/2 cup baking soda
Sea salt for topping
Preheat oven to 425, and bring a large pot of water and the baking soda to a boil.
In a small bowl, mix yeast, 1 tbs sugar and 1 cup of warm water and allow to sit until the yeast starts to bubble (about 5 minutes).
In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine slightly cooled melted butter, maple syrup, yeast mixture, pumpkin puree, salt an 4 cups of flour.
Mix on medium/low speed with your dough hook.
Continue mixing until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. If it is too sticky, add additional flour.
Turn dough out in to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.
Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll into a long "snake" about 18 inches long.
Fold in half and twist dough creating a rope like appearance.
Cut each "rope" in half and allow to rest for a few minutes.
Drop 1-3 pretzels into the boiling water (make sure they each have enough room) for about 30 seconds.
Remove from boiling water, place on a paper towel to dry just a bit. Transfer boiled pretzels to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown all over.
Remove from oven, and serve warm.