Pretzel Wrapped Smoked Sausages
Yield: About 76 pieces.
Ingredients for the pretzel dough ( Ingredients and bread machine method from the Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook):
- 4 cups (1 pound and 1 ounce by weight) bread flour (High-gluten flour)
- 1 tablespoon malt powder or sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
Ingredients for the pretzel bath:
- 2 quarts water
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 (14 ounce) packages cocktail-sized smoked sausages
- 1 egg white whisked together with 1 tablespoon of cool water until frothy
- coarse salt
- melted butter for brushing the finished pretzels
To prepare pretzel dough with a bread machine:
Add all pretzel dough ingredients into the pan of the bread machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Program the bread machine for the dough cycle and press ‘start’. Allow the machine to complete the cycle.
To prepare pretzel dough with a stand-mixer:
Add all pretzel dough ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Turn the stand mixer on using the lowest setting. Keep the mixer on ‘low’ for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, remove the dough hook from the bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place until puffy and doubled in bulk; about 35 minutes.
To prepare pretzel dough by hand:
Add dry pretzel dough ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix lightly with a whisk. Add the milk and water to the bowl and stir well with a sturdy spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured counter top and knead until a smooth and elastic dough forms. Place in a clean bowl covered with a damp tea towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place until puffy and doubled in bulk; about 35 minutes.
To assemble the pretzel wrapped sausages:
Line 3 half-sheet pans with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Turn the risen dough out onto a clean counter top. (Do not flour the counter top!) Use a bench knife or spatula to pinch or cut off a piece of dough about the size of a ping pong ball. Cover the bulk of the dough with a clean towel to keep it from drying. Squash the piece of dough flat. Using the pads of your fingers and the palms of your hands, roll the piece of dough back and forth, gently moving hands away from each other. Continue rolling the dough until it forms a long cord with a diameter of about 1/4-1/2 of an inch. Hold the end of the dough cord to the end of the cocktail sausage with one hand. Use the other hand to coil the pretzel dough around the sausage to the other end. Use a bench knife or spatula to cut the excess dough cord. Pinch the loose ends of the cord into the dough coil. Place, pinched sides down, on the prepared parchment lined pans. Let rise, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
To boil and bake the pretzel wrapped sausages:
While the pretzel dough is rising, preheat oven to 400°F and bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the baking soda to the boiling water. Carefully lower up to 8 pretzel dough wrapped sausages into the boiling water with your hands. Allow them to simmer for about 45 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to lift each piece from the water, drain and return to the pans. Brush each piece with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with the coarse salt. Bake the trays for 16 minutes each, or until the pretzels are a glossy golden brown. Remove from the oven. If desired, brush the finished pretzels with melted butter and cool for 5 minutes before transferring the pretzel sausages to a serving platter.
Adapted gently from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Yield: A little over 8 ounces.
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup yellow mustard seeds
- 1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons dry mustard powder
- 2 generous pinches ground allspice
Bring red wine vinegar to a boil in a stainless steel pan. Remove from heat, add yellow mustard seeds, swirl the pan and cover tightly. Let the pan sit at room temperature for about an hour or until the seeds have absorbed most of the red wine vinegar. Scrape the soaked seeds into a blender or food processor fitted with a stainless steel blade. Process until most of the seeds have been crushed. Do not process until completely smooth as you still want a grainy texture with some whole seeds. Add the cranberries, Worcestershire sauce and water and process until the cranberries are finely chopped.
Use a silicone or rubber spatula to scrape the cranberry/mustard seed mixture back into the stainless steel pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil gently for 5 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, mustard powder and allspice until completely incorporated. Simmer until reduced by third, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer into a clean jar with a tight fitting lid. The mustard is ready to use immediately, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.