Beer and pretzels are perfect partners, improved only by the
double hit of beer in both the mustard and dough. Start this recipe
two days ahead to make the mustard. This recipe makes 14
10 gmdried yeast2 tspcaster sugar180 mllight German ale, such as Kölsch, at room temperature635 gmbread flour1garlic clove, finely grated40 gmsoftened butter50 gmbicarbonate of soda1egg yolk, lightly beaten1 tbspfine sea salt flakes1½ tbsppoppy seeds½ tbspcaraway seeds100 mlapple cider vinegar2 tbspolive oil¼ cup(firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped1 tbspthyme½golden shallot, finely choppedWholegrain beer mustard125 ml(½ cup) white wine vinegar or cider vinegar 60 mllight German ale, such as Kölsch60 gmyellow mustard seeds2 tbspbrown mustard seeds1 tbspbrown sugar1 tbsphoney1/8 tspallspice
For wholegrain mustard, combine vinegar, beer and mustard seeds in a bowl, cover and set aside for flavours to infuse and mustard seeds to soften (48 hours). Process in a blender or small food processor to coarsely crush, then add sugar, honey and allspice, process to a coarse paste, season to taste and refrigerate until required. Makes about 1 cup. Mustard will keep for 6 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.
Combine yeast, sugar and 60ml beer in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Cover with a tea towel and set aside until starting to foam (1-2 minutes). Add flour, garlic, remaining beer, half the sea salt and 150ml warm water and knead until smooth (3-4 minutes). With motor running, add butter a little at a time until dough is very smooth (2-3 minutes; add 1-2 tbsp water if needed), then place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and set aside to rest in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1½ hours).
Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper. Knock back dough, divide into 14 even pieces and roll each on a work surface to about 45cm long, tapering at the ends and thicker in the middle (wet your hands slightly to assist with rolling). Bring the two ends together, cross one over the other, twist them once, then fold ends back and press onto main body.
Preheat oven to 200C. Bring 5 litres water to the simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add bicarbonate of soda, stir to combine, then carefully add pretzels in batches to blanch, turning once, until floating and puffed (20-30 seconds each side). Remove with a slotted spoon and place on prepared baking trays. Brush with egg yolk, then scatter with seeds and remaining sea salt, and bake, swapping trays halfway through cooking, until golden (25-30 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly. Pretzels are best eaten on the day of making.
Whisk vinegar, oil, herbs, shallot and 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard in a bowl, season to taste and serve as a dipping sauce with pretzels.