My upbringing was not rooted in football. We were a baseball family. The first song I learned to sing by myself was Take Me Out to the Ball Game. My dad used to answer the phone, “Cowles baseball and concentration camp.” And I knew by age six the best vendor at the Kingdome, back when there was a Kingdome, for getting an extra helping of onions and peppers with your Polish.
I think if I understood the subtleties of football – what I like to think of as the artistic points – I’d enjoy it more. I’m sure there’s a strategic advantage to the defensive line’s foot placement. I imagine if I could ever see the entire field during a play, I’d be able to understand how a pick play is run without actually setting a pick.
Alas, Sundays, for me, are mostly about the food.
Don’t get me wrong. The cheering and camaraderie are great. (I wholeheartedly believe that’s part of food – sharing it.) I love when the Hawks win. (I love it even more because it makes my husband smile. Football’s kind of his second religion.) But, football’s just not my number one jam.
Whether you find yourself in my boat or not, these Sriracha Salted Pretzel Knots are a sure bet. They’re a little time intensive and can be a tad bit messy. But, not a single step is particularly difficult and the payoff is totally worth it.
Crispy crusts. Chewy centers. A generous sprinkling of slightly spicy salt. They’re the kind of stuff you can munch on all day.
Sriracha Salted Pretzel Knots
Adapted from a Spicy Perspective
I like the original version of this recipe, but one day I didn’t have all six tablespoons of the honey it calls for. I tossed in another tsp of salt and baked them anyway. Garrett and the football gang loved them just the same. So in our house, where sugar is an issue, we’ve adopted this lower honey version.
1¼ cups warm water
1 TBS sugar
2½ tsp dry active yeast (1 packet)
3 tsp kosher salt
3 tsp honey
4½ cups all-purpose flour
6 TBS melted butter
3 TBS olive oil
1 egg yolk + 3 TBS water for egg wash
3 quarts water (for boiling)
¾ cup baking soda
Pour warm water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle it with yeast and let sit for 5 – 10 minutes. The mixture will foam. Using the dough hook attachment, mix in sea salt, honey, flour, and melted butter on low until well combined.
Increase speed to medium and allow the mixer to knead the dough until it is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl (roughly 6 minutes).
Coat the inside of a large glass bowl with olive oil. Remove dough from mixer and place in coated bowl. Turn dough once to coat in olive oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in warm spot to rise until double in size (roughly 1 hour).
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 cookies sheets with parchment paper.
Bring water to a boil. Add baking soda and stir to dissolve.
While water is boiling, dump dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Cut each section into 6 equal strips.
Roll each strip individually into a 10-inch rope. Cut each rope in half. Tie each half into a loose knot. Place each knot on a cookie sheet.
Drop pretzel knots into the boiling water, 4 – 5 at a time, for 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove each knot from water and return to cookie sheet.
Whisk egg yolk and 3 TBS water together. Brush each boiled knot with egg wash. Sprinkle each knot with Sriracha salt. Bake until golden brown (12 – 14 minutes). Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.