I’m a big fan of bagels, and of course also a major fan of soft pretzels. I sometimes don’t know which one I love more and the more I think about it, the more I go down this dark empty tunnel of having to make the very hard decision of picking just one, but then I realize that there isn’t just one winner because you can so easily have both in one crazy delicious snack. These Everything Bagel Pretzels are the answer to that age old question; bagel or pretzel? It’s chewy everything bagel meets soft salty pretzel. These are even served with a garlic herb cream cheese spread because you can’t have a bagel without cream cheese—that’s just madness. Speaking of madness and speaking of everything bagels, I think this is a great opportunity to remind you that Everything Bagel Doughnuts exist and they’re still one my favorite mash-ups on this site. These pretzels are from the latest episode of Married and Hungry and if you haven’t seen it yet, now’s your chance to catch up! This weekend, you have a date with catching up on my show and baking up these pretzels. You’ll be so glad you did. Trust me.
Let’s start by activating the yeast. In a small bowl, stir together the warm water, yeast and sugar.
**Note: Yeast, just like you and I, needs food to survive. Active dry yeast is basically sleeping and you need to wake it up with some warm water and a tiny bit of food. The sugar is that food, but you can also use honey instead!**
Allow the mixture to rest for about 10 minutes, or until foamy and frothy.
**Tip: If your yeast doesn’t foam up, then something went wrong and you should dump it out and start all over again. This is crucial because if you don’t do it right, then your dough won’t rise or bake properly.**
Combine the rest of the water, butter, barley malt syrup, salt, and flour along with the yeast mixture. Stir together with the dough hook attachment and add in the remaining flour until a smooth and somewhat sticky dough appears. Then knead for about 7 to 10 minutes.
**Tip: Barley malt syrup gives the pretzels a great texture, taste and of course, color. If you can’t find it though, you can use either brown sugar or honey in the dough, and baking soda in the boiling water step!
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times to let the air out. Them cut into 12 even. Then, working with one piece at time, roll out into a long thin rope.
**Tip: To prevent the dough from drying out, cover the unused dough loosely with a damp kitchen towel!**
Just in case you don’t know how to shape a pretzel, I photographed each step (below) so that you can have a visual representation of what you need. It’s actually super easy!
Once the pretzels have been shaped, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let rest for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and stir in the barley malt syrup. Once it’s back up to a boil, you can start carefully dipping a few pretzels in at a time, making sure you don’t over-crowd the pot. You’ll have to do it in batches, but that’s okay.
Cook for about 10 seconds per side and then carefully remove the pretzel from the boiling water, with a slotted spoon to remove the excess water. Then return to the boiled pretzels to the baking sheet.
Brush the pretzels with egg wash and then sprinkle with everything bagel topping. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven until golden brown all around, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving. In the meantime, make the garlic herb cream cheese by mixing together the softened cream cheese, grated garlic, herbs and a bit of salt and pepper.
**Tip: The cream cheese dip can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also just buy herb cream cheese, but I feel like making at home is so much better and a whole lot easier!**
I like to serve the pretzels warm, with the garlic herb cream cheese on the side for dipping and dunking. Don’t forget about the cold beers. You can’t have a pretzel without a beer!
These can be made in advance, cooled completely, and then stored in large freezer-sage bags and keep them in there until ready eat. Just place them on a parchment paper -lined parchment paper and bake until warmed through.
I also like to eat these with grainy mustard, because I honestly believe that aside from nacho cheese sauce, pretzels should always be served with a little bit of mustard. And since I mentioned cheese sauce, that wouldn’t be bad here either!
These are a great snack, appetizer or even (dare I say it) breakfast! They’re a great twist on a classic pretzel or bagel, but so much easier to make. If you can’t find everything bagel seasoning at the store (Trader Joe’s has some) then you can totally make your own. Just mix equal parts granulated garlic, granulated onion, sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, and poppy seeds! And if you haven’t seen the latest episode of Married and Hungry yet, what are you waiting for?!!? Watch it now!
- 1½ cups warm water
- 1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3¾ to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon barley malt syrup (or brown sugar)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup barley malt syrup (or baking soda)
- 1 egg, whisked
- ¼ cup Everything Bagel seasoning
- 8 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon chives, minced
- 1 tablespoon dill, chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- pinch of salt and pepper
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine ½ cup warm water, yeast and sugar. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, until foamy.
- Add the rest of the water, salt, 3 cups flour, barley malt syrup, and butter. Stir together with the dough hook, adding in enough of the remaining flour until a soft and somewhat sticky dough comes together. It should come away from the sides of the bowl. Knead on medium speed for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times to shape into a smooth ball of dough. Place into a greased bowl and cover loosely with a damp kitchen towel. Allow to rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
- Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times. Cut into 12 even pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, while keeping the rest covered with a kitchen towel, roll into a long thin rope and then shape into a pretzel. Place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them out evenly, about 6 per sheet. Continue shaping the rest and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and stir in ½ cup barley malt syrup. Allow to come back up to a boil. Carefully dip in a couple pretzels at a time and cook for about 8 to 10 seconds per side. With a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer the pretzels from the water and return to the baking sheet.
- Once they're all boiled, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with the bagel topping. Bake until golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack.
- To make the garlic herb cream cheese, mix together the cream cheese, garlic, herbs, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover with plastic and store until ready to use.
- Serve the pretzels with the cream cheese dip and enjoy!