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Olive And Garlic Pretzels

  • Yield: 18 pretzels


  • 3/4 cup pitted kalamata or other brine-cured black olives
  • 2 anchovy fillets, drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • One 1/4-ounce envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups warm (about 110?F) milk
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup Creole or other spicy whole-grain mustard for dipping (optional)
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for glaze


  • Combine the olives, anchovies, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the garlic, and pepper in a food processor and pulse to make a thick paste.
  • Combine the yeast, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the milk and, with the mixer on low speed, mix for 4 minutes to dissolve the yeast. Add the flour, salt, and the olive paste and mix until the dough begins to come together. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a tight ball, about 2 minutes. (Alternatively, dissolve the yeast, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the warm milk in a large bowl. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, salt, and the olive paste, stirring well with a wooden spoon to incorporate all the flour. Place dough on an unfloured surface and knead until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.)
  • Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Remove the dough from the mixer, place it in the bowl, and turn it to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let stand in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease two large baking sheets with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Turn the dough out onto an unfloured surface. Roll it into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 18 pieces. One at a time, gently roll and pull each one into a long, thin rope about 1/2 inch in diameter and 14 inches long. To make the pretzel shape, bring the ends up to form a U-shape and twist to form a wreath, then bring the ends down and across the bottom of the wreath like a bow, pressing down to seal the ends, and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Brush the pretzels with the egg glaze and sprinkle with the kosher salt.
  • Arrange the pretzels 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, switching the position of the sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking, until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Serve warm with the mustard for dipping.