When it comes to fall, there probably isn’t anything more comforting that a hot pretzel with either a delicious cheese or chocolate dip! It will bring back fond memories of summer vacation and because the pretzel is warm and the weather is cool, it will warm your belly! These pumpkin pretzel are basically just traditional hot pretzel dough shaped into festive pumpkins, I’ve left off all of the pumpkin spice, you can find that kinda of stuff elsewhere 🙂
Making these pretzel pumpkins is actually very easy, I think it’s easier than trying to perfect the traditional pretzel shape. All you do is roll out a long bead of pretzel, about a quarter of an inch thick, then cut into 3 inch segments. Start with the center segment, which will be straight, and curve a segment on each side from the bottom to about one eighth of an inch from the top (that’s the pumpkin’s stem), then repeat. You should have 5 segments that look like a pumpkin, don’t worry about gaps or being perfect, the cooking process will help fill in the spaces and put it’s own spin on the pumpkin’s character.
If extra speed, you can also roll out the dough to one quarter inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to shape your pretzel, too! Don’t forget to make your sauces! I’ve got a few delicious ones here:
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
In a large bowl, add 2 cups of 110 degree F water. Stir in the brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
Open and sprinkle the yeast over the water. Allow the mixture to stand until it becomes foamy. This should take about 5 minutes.
Stir in the vegetable oil. Slowly stir in 3 cups of the flour. Then knead in the remaining 2 3/4 cups of flour. Expect the dough to be slightly sticky.
It's time to kneed! Transfer the dough on to your floured countertop or work surface. Kneel the dough for about 3 minutes until it becomes silky. If the dough is stickly, you can kneed up to about 1/4 cup more.
Oil a bowl with vegatable oil. Place the dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the bowl stand at room temperature until he dough doubles in size.
Line (at least two, you will really need three) cookie sheets with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper.
Punch down the dough, literally punch the dough in the middle. Transfer the dough back to your work surface (floured) and kneed the dough lightly.
Flatten the dough and and roll until the dough is about 1/2 inch thick. Using a floured leaf shaped cookie cutter, cut out leaves and place on to cookie sheet.
To make the pumpkins, roll 5, 2 inch x 1/8 inch sticks. Lie one stick down, then place another stick on each side of the middle stick, connecting at the bottom and slightly lower from the top (leaving room for a stem). Then do the same with the last two.
Repeat the process until the dough is gone, this should make about 48 pretzel leaves. Let stand uncovered until they puff up again, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450°.
In a deep skillet or large pot, add 2 quarts of water and baking soda. Bring to simmer over high heat. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium.
Using a pair of slotted spoons, add (one at a time) up to 6 pretzel leaves to the water. After 10 seconds, turn over the pretzel. Remove from water after 20 seconds and place on paper towel to drain. If you allow it to cook longer, the texture of the preztel can change.
Before adding the next set of 6 pretzel pumpkins, add 1 cup of hot water.
Transfer the pretzel pumpkins from the paper towels back to cookie sheets. Ensure that the pumpkins are space evenly.
Prepare an egg wash with the egg and a small amount of water.
Brush the pretzel pumpkins with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt. If you forget the salt at this point it will be difficult to add the salt after they come out of the oven (the salt won't stick).
Bake the pretzel pumpkins for about 8 minutes or until browned.