The festive Salted Beer Soft Pretzel Footballs are a must have for any Super Bowl party. They are simple to make using store bought pizza dough and are shaped to look like footballs.
Did you know you can use store bought pizza dough to make soft pretzels?
While they don’t taste exactly the same as homemade, from scratch, pretzels, they do have a nice chewy crust and a soft fluffy interior and take little time at all to make.
Recently I made my first batch of soft pretzels using Pillsbury Pizza Dough and the traditional method of dunking the dough into a hot bath of water and baking soda. They were super easy and I liked that I could create cool shapes out of the dough easily.
It took some playing around, but I finally figured out how to make football shaped pretzels. By the time I had the technique mastered, I had run out of dough and daylight.
It took a few days for me to find the time to get back to this recipe and in that time my Pillsbury 2014 calendar arrived on my doorstep. While flipping through the pages, I noticed a recipe for Salted Beer Pretzel Crescents in which crescent roll dough was dipped into a solution of baking soda mixed with beer instead of water.
This intrigued me. I like beer bread and figured the pretzels would have a similar taste. I decided to give this a try with my football shaped pretzels, because I’m guessing most Super Bowl party goers would enjoy this unique twist to a soft pretzel.
When the beer dipped pretzels came out of the oven, I was surprised to see how much lighter in color they were compared to the pretzels that had been dipped in a water and baking soda solution, and was even more surprised at the very subtle flavor difference. The water dipped pretzel was one of my earlier attempts and the design wasn’t quite right. It sat on my kitchen counter for three days before this picture was taken.
In the future I will probably just use the water bath, just because I always have water on hand, but do think the party guests on Super Bowl Sunday will appreciate the beer dipped pretzels and think they are cool.
Salted Beer Soft Pretzel Footballs (makes 6)
1 tube Pillsbury Thick Crust Pizza Dough
2 – 12 ounce cans beer or 3 cups water
3 tablespoons baking soda
pretzel salt or kosher salt
pizza wheel or knife
large slotted spoon or flat strainer
baking pans lined with non-stick tin foil or a non-stick mat
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unroll tube of Pillsbury Pizza dough onto a cutting board and cut 12 half inch wide strips and 6 quarter inch wide strips across the short side of the dough. Cut across the dough about a 1/3 of the way from the long edge.
Roll each piece into a log. Cut the thin short log into three pieces.For each pretzel you’ll need 2 thick long pieces, 2 thick short pieces, 1 long thin piece, and 3 very short thin pieces.
Tip: Lift up the strips of dough holding onto both ends. If you lift just one end, you will stretch the dough too thin.
Combine the baking soda and beer in a 10 inch skillet or a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to low.
Tip: You can start dipping your dough now, but it’s hard to see through all the foam. You can wait until the foam dissipates, if you’d like.
Set a few of the pizza dough pieces into the hot beer solution. After about 10 seconds, flip the pieces over. Remove after 10 more seconds. The dough should have puffed up slightly.
Allow excess beer to drain off. I found this handy flat strainer to work great for this job. A large slotted spoon will work too.
Arrange dough pieces into footballs.
Use the two long thick logs, to make the outline of the football. Set the long thin log across the football from tip to tip. Use the short thick logs to make the football stripes on either end of the football then add the remaining three small thin logs in the middle for the laces. Use kitchen shears to cut off any excess dough. Sprinkle on some pretzel salt.
Tips for working with the pretzel dough:
- Do not pick up and move your pretzels or they will stretch out and loose their shape. This is why I didn’t shape them before they went into the beer bath.
- Keep your hands clean and wet, this will make working with the sticky dough easier.
- Pinch together the seams with your wet fingers.
Each of my pretzels looks a little different and that is O.K. Before you stick them in the oven, reshape them to your liking.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until golden brown. If you used water, your pretzels will get very dark brown, if you used beer, they will be more golden brown.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. These pretzels are good warm or cold, but are best the day they are made.
If you need to make these in advance of your Super Bowl party, make them, bake them and freeze them, then reheat them the day of the event. I haven’t done this with these pretzels, but reheat frozen soft pretzels all the time, and know it works out pretty well.
More Super Bowl Party Food Ideas
from Hungry Happenings
If you want more tailgating or homegating party ideas for the college football season,
be sure to check out my Football Party Food ideas.