A few weeks ago I professed my love for Hepp’s Salt Barrel. They have this amazing Black Truffle salt that I have a huge culinary crush on. I’ve spent that last week inventing a recipe that would showcase this gorgeous spice. What better vehicle for salt consumption than a pretzel? Salt makes everything taste better, but in this case, it’s the star.
Truffled Soft Pretzels with a Smokey Garlic Aioli
1 cup water, warmed between 105-110 degrees fahrenheit
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp active yeast
2 2/3 cups flour
1/4 cup truffle oil (can use olive oil instead) plus 2 tbs, divided
2 tbs veggtable oil
5 cups of water
1/2 cup baking soda
1 tbs black truffle salt
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbs olive oil, plus 1 tbs, divided
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar and then sprinkle the yeast on top. Give it five minutes to get foamy before proceeding. With a dough hook attachment, put the mixer on low and slowly add the flour and kosher salt. slowly add the 1/4 cup truffle oil, then increase the speed to medium and allow the mixer to knead the dough unit it’s smooth and gathers around the hook about 6-8 minutes. Coat the inside of a glass or metal bowl with the vegetable oil. Gather the dough into a ball and place inside your oily bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm place for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size (this may be a good time to start working on the aioli, instructions at the bottom).
Preheat your oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Bring the water and baking soda to boil in a pot on the stove.
Remove the dough and place on a sheet of parchment paper (if you don’t have parchment paper, use a clean oiled surface that will resist the dough sticking to it). Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into three equal sized pieces, then cut each of those pieces in half, giving you six equal sized pieces of dough.
grab one end of the dough and hold so that the other end hangs towards the ground. Using your other hand, gently squeeze the dough from top to bottom to form a long rope, using gravity to assist. You can also try rolling the dough on an oiled surface, to form a 12-18 inch rope of dough. Place on the parchment paper, forming a U shape, then brining each end in towards the bottom, crossing the ends in the middle to form a pretzel shape, pressing the ends in to secure them in place. Once the water has come to a boil, add one pretzel at a time. Allow the pretzel to boil on one side for 20 seconds and then flip it over and allow to boil on the other side for 20 seconds and remove and place on the baking sheet covered with parchment paper. once all of the pretzels have been shaped and boiled, brush with the remaining truffle oil and sprinkle with the truffle salt. Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes or until a dark golden brown.
To make the aioli, you first need to roast the garlic. I prefer to roast whole cloves at a time, because it smells amazing, and you can always use roasted garlic in just about everything. But you only need 4 cloves for this recipe so that’s what we’ll do. Preheat your oven to 450. Take your four cloves from the bulb and leave the paper skin on. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 tbs olive oil. Fold the aluminum into a tight package and place in a baking dish. Roast in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes, allow to cool. In a food processor, add the yolks, whole egg, smoked paprika and salt. Cut the root of you roasted garlic bulbs (where it was attached to the clove) and squeeze the garlic out and add to the food processor. Turn the food processor on and allow to process for about 3 minutes, or until thick and frothy. While your food processor is still on, slowly, slowly add the remaining 1 tbs oil, a tiny bit at a time. Allow to process for a few more minutes, until thick.
Serve your pretzeles right away. These just don’t keep very well, so if you have leftovers the next day, put them in your food processor because they make amazing bread crumbs. Keep the pretzel bread crumbs in an air-tight container in your refrigerator.