Hello from Iowa!! Yes. Iowa. Me, a city girl, now in farm country. And I’m LOVING it!! It’s a great break from the norm.
This trip was sponsored by the Iowa Corn Growers Association and it’s basically educating a small number of food bloggers about corn, the farmers, what corn is used for (a TON of things!), and seeing how it’s useful in our lives. I’m doing an entire blog post on my experience when I get back so keep your eyes peeled for that, but if you can’t wait, you should follow along with me as I’m tweeting, Facebooking, and Instagramming it all! And no, I was not paid by any means to say any of this! They really just genuinely wanted to bring a small group of us out to give us the real deal experience and education.
Okay, on to pretzel bread! I realize this recipe has NOTHING to do with Iowa but it’s carb-loaded and that’s what we all need when we’re working on the farm right?! ;)
So the story behind this is that I made this baguette several weeks ago. It was right after I went to District Commons for happy hour with Claire. I LOVE her, it was the first time we met up after trying for too many months and I swear we have been friends forever. We just were so natural with each other and no awkward moments – except maybe a little bit with our waiter who seemed to hate us – but other than that, dinner was AMAZING and I can’t wait to hang out with Claire again. Also, I want to thank the staff of District Commons for recognizing who we were (food bloggers) and came to say hi and gave us a dessert sampler from the chef. They were delicious and so decadent! I’ve been back numerous times already – one of my favorite spots :)
Anyway, at District Commons, they have this pretzel baguette with mustard butter for $2 as an appetizer. It’s so delicious, soft, fluffy, and perfect. I vowed to recreate it. So I did! And Jason and I could not stop eating it. Thankfully I made two loaves. One definitely wasn’t enough.
You’ll want to smother the mustard butter all over every crevice of the bread. It’s melt in your mouth good.
Pretzel Baguette with Mustard Butter
For the bread:
- 1 1/2 cups warm water, 110-115 degrees
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 whole egg, lightly beaten
- Kosher salt for sprinkling, use pretzel salt if you have it
For the mustard butter:
- 4 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 2 tbsp grain mustard or stone ground mustard
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine water, yeast, and sugar. Stir together and let sit for 5 minutes until foamy.
- Add the flour, salt, and melted butter and combine until ball of dough forms.
- Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- When finished rising, punch down the dough and turn it over onto a lightly floured work surface.
- Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.
- Take the dough and form it into two even length loaves.
- Place them side by side (not touching each other though) on the prepared baking sheet.
- Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise again for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a large pasta pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil then remove from heat. Gently sprinkle baking soda in and stir to mix. Place back on heat to a low simmer and place one loaf of bread in the poaching liquid for 30 seconds then flip over and poach for another 30 seconds. This will seem difficult to do since the loaves are so long - use two slotted spoons to guide the bread in and out of the pot.
- Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the other loaf. Take a sharp knife and make slits on the top of the loaves.
- Take the beaten egg and with a pastry brush, brush the tops of the bread, sprinkle with salt, then place in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. I like the tops of mine extra brown so I left it in there longer. Just watch it so they don't burn :)
- In the meantime, take your butter and mustard and mix it together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Once bread is done, let it cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before slicing and spreading butter mustard on top :)
- Store bread in airtight container for up to 5 days, store butter mustard in the fridge, covered, for up to 2 weeks.