Soft, chewy homemade pretzels topped with tasty pepperoni…these Pepperoni Soft Pretzels make for an excellent appetizer while watching the big game!
I’m a sucker for advertising. I see a commercial with a mouthwatering stack of pancakes, and I turn to Laura and tell her we should go out for pancakes. That scenario has definitely played out in our house. Many times. Of course, Laura usually just reminds me that we can make tasty pancakes at home. And then I have to admit that she’s right. That, and taking Robbie out to a restaurant at this age is not my idea of fun.
Speaking of being a sucker for advertising, let’s talk pretzel shops. You know the kind they have in malls. Well, they conveniently have one inside our local Walmart. Whenever I run in to pick something up, the smell of freshly baked pretzels just hits me in the face. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever been hit in the face with the smell of pretzels, but it’s pretty difficult to ignore. I’m pretty sure they vent their ovens right into the entryway of the store, too. And then they have a big sign advertising “Free Samples.” Are you kidding me? It’s hard enough to avoid the delicious smells!
Seeing as how I usually do my shopping at like 9am on a Monday, I’ve been pretty good about avoiding the mid-morning pretzel snack. But they’ve been advertising these Pepperoni Soft Pretzels for a while now…woah. Talk about an amazing idea! How exactly am I supposed to ignore that kind of deliciousness?
Well, in true Laura fashion, I haven’t succumbed to the pretzel store inside of Walmart. But I have given in and made batches of Pepperoni Soft Pretzels here at home. (Note that batches is plural. As in very plural. As in batcheseses.) But there have been a lot of football games on lately…and playoff football requires epic football food. So I have dutifully obliged by making batches of these Pepperoni Soft Pretzels for us. We’ve been hanging out with our friends and neighbors a lot watching football, and these pretzels have been a big hit. We’ve become the “go-to” house for watching playoff games…and I haven’t even vented our oven into the doorway. Yet.
While these Pepperoni Soft Pretzels are pretty darn tasty by themselves, I do recommend serving them with a dish of warm marinara sauce. I mean it’s January and the NFL playoffs are on. Dips are quite simply a requirement for a successful football party! Anyways, I’m off to make another batch of these pretzels. I can’t stop, won’t stop. Have a great weekend, my friends! (And hopefully that weekend involves soft pretzels, pepperoni and marinara dipping sauce…)
Pepperoni Soft Pretzels
For the Dough
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ Tbsp brown sugar
- 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
- ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp warm water
For the Soaker
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 Tbsp baking soda
For the Pretzels
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 2 oz. pepperoni sliced
- 2 Tbsp butter melted
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- Using a countertop mixer, combine all of the dough ingredients (flour, salt, brown sugar, yeast, and warm water). Mix on medium speed for 6 minutes.
- Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Cover and place in a warm (85°F) location for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the soaker by combining the boiling water with the baking soda. Mix until baking soda is fully dissolved, and set aside to cool.
- Once dough has risen, divide it into 8 pieces of equal weight (~2½ oz. each). Allow dough to rest uncovered for 5 minutes, then roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope about 24” long. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape. (See picture in post for guide.)
- Place each pretzel in the Soaker mixture for 2 minutes (spoon water over the top of the pretzel if it is not fully covered by the water). Transfer the pretzels to a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Tip: Spray the parchment paper with non-stick spray first. This will help keep the pretzels from sticking to the paper.)
- Sprinkle tops of pretzels with Parmesan cheese and then lay sliced pepperoni on top. Let pretzels rest for 10 minutes uncovered.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 475°F.
- Bake at 475°F for 9-11 minutes, or until pretzels are golden brown in color. Remove pretzels from oven and brush with melted butter.
- Serve with favorite marinara sauce for dipping.