Except bread; more specifically: pretzel bread. And beer.
If you don’t crave carbs, you aren’t human. A full belly is a happy belly; just ask the Germans. Chewy bread covered in smooth, vinegary beer-mustard sauce is as good as it gets.
Pretzel Demi-Baguettes with Beer Mustard Sauce
Beer Mustard Sauce
1/2cupspicy brown mustard
1 1/4cupswarm water (110-115°F)
1Tbspactive dry yeast
4 ½cupsall-purpose flour
4tbspmelted unsalted butter
1lightly beaten egg
For the sauce, mix together the mustard, beer, sugar, and salt until combined.
In a large bowl, prepare the yeast: add the active dry yeast to the warm water and sugar. Dissolve the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast starts to bubble. Add the flour, salt, sugar, and butter. Using a spatula, scrape the flour into the other ingredients. Once the ingredients begin to incorporate, fold the dough over itself while using your fingers to squish any dry spots in the dough. For the dough's first rise, cover the bowl with a towel and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down the dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 4 pieces and shape into small baguettes about 8" long and 3" wide, pulling the sides to the top center and pinching. By doing this, you should be able to create a smooth skin around the dough. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper, and place the shaped dough, pinched-side down and evenly spaced, leaving at least 3” between each baguette. For the dough's second rise, cover the sheet pans lightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, or about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°F and place oven racks on the lowest and middle positions. To poach the demi-baguettes, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil in a large, wide saucepan. Add the baking soda and lower to a simmer. Gently place the demi-baguettes into the water, pinched-side down. Poach the dough for 30 seconds on each side, then remove with a spider or slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pans, seam side down. Place the shaped dough, pinched-side down and evenly spaced, onto the baking sheets, leaving at least 3” between each demi-baguette. For the glaze, using a pastry brush, glaze each roll with the egg, making sure to coat it completely. Top each roll with a sprinkle of pretzel salt. With a sharp knife, cut 2 diagonal, 1/4"-deep slashes on top of each demi-baguette. Bake the demi-baguettes for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway (top to bottom, front to back). Allow the demi-baguettes to cool and serve with the beer-mustard sauce.