Bacon Pretzels with Maple-Dijon Dipping Sauce

Posted: May 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Bread | Tags: | 2 Comments »

Bacon pretzels

It’s that time of the year again… Time for BACON CAMP! My dear friend Karen is once again working her magic to organize the second annual San Francisco Bacon Camp. I had a little trouble coming up with something to follow my award-winning entry last year, but ultimately decided to just chill out and make something that tastes good.

Fortunately, my internet friend Lucky Olive posted a picture of a delicious-looking home-made pretzel and inspiration struck. I would make bacon pretzels. Baconifying the original recipe wasn’t too difficult.

Bacon Pretzels with Maple-Dijon Dipping Sauce

Adapted from Almost-Famous Soft Pretzels, from

Yield: 6 large pretzels


For the pretzels:
8 slices thick-cut bacon
1 cup milk
1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
6 tablespoons bacon fat, divided
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons coarse salt

For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup dijon mustard (I like Maille)
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


For the pretzels:

  1. Chop 6 pieces of the raw bacon into roughly 1 cm square pieces. Cook in a frying pan until the pieces are crispy and delicious. Put bacon on a paper towel to drain. These pieces are to go in the dough. Reserve the fat from the pan.
  2. Cook another 2 pieces of bacon whole, this time leaving them slightly less done — they shouldn’t be crispy. Drain these pieces of bacon on paper towels, patting off excess grease. Dice them finely. Put them in a small dish and refrigerate them. These bits are to go on top of the pretzels. Again, reserve the fat from the pan.

    Bacon bits, to go on top of the pretzels with salt

  3. Warm the milk in a saucepan until it’s about 110°F. Make sure it’s not any warmer or the yeast will die and not work as well. I used a candy thermometer to check the temperature.
  4. Pour the milk into a mixing bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup of the flour with a wooden spoon.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of melted bacon fat and the bacon pieces you made in Step 1. Stir to mix well.
  7. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and the fine salt; mix well to make a sticky dough.
  8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes.
  9. Lightly grease a bowl (I used bacon fat, of course). Shape the dough into a ball. Roll it around in the bowl to coat it in grease. Turn it over so it is crease side down, and then cover the bowl with a lightly moistened tea towel. Set it aside in a warm place to rise for an hour or so, till the dough has doubled in size.
  10. This would be a good time to make the dipping sauce (see below).
  11. When the dough is almost done rising, preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease a large baking sheet (you might need two).
  12. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. If the dough seems tight, cover it and let it rest until it relaxes.
  13. Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Carefully roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a long, thin rope. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.
  14. Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet(s).
  15. Sprinkle liberally with coarse salt and the bacon bits you made in Step 2.
  16. Bake until golden, 10-12 minutes.
  17. When the pretzels are done baking, brush or drizzle them with melted bacon fat, being careful not to dislodge the bacon bits. Let them drain on a wire rack. Serve warm with dipping sauce.

    Bacon pretzels

    Maple-dijon dipping sauce

For the dipping sauce:

  1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, maple syrup, and vinegar until they are smooth and evenly mixed. Cover and refrigerate.

Want to taste my bacon pretzels? Stop by Bacon Camp tomorrow:
Saturday May 8, 2010
Chez Poulet
3359 Cesar Chavez St. (at Mission)
San Francisco, CA 94110

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