Course: Appetizer
Beer Style: Oatmeal Stout

Pumpkin and Stout Soft Pretzels

These delicious pumpkin and stout soft pretzels feature your favorite fall spices like cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. These buttery and salty treats are the perfect for game-day munching.


  • 1 cup stout
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (for boiling)
For topping:
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt


  1. To make these pumpkin and stout soft pretzels, combine stout, pumpkin puree and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until very warm but not hot (no hotter than 110°F, please).
  2. Remove pan from heat and sprinkle yeast over the pumpkin mixture. Stir and let stand 5 minutes. At the end of that time, your yeast should be "blooming."
  3. To the bowl of a stand mixer, add all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt and spices. Pour in the pumpkin-yeast mixture, add the oil, and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to moisten dry ingredients. If the dough is too dry, add another tablespoon or two of stout.
  4. Using the dough hook attachment, knead on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until dough forms a smooth ball around the hook and doesn’t cling to the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky, add additional flour a tablespoon at a time.
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes. The dough won’t quite double, but it should have a decent lift.
  6. Line baking sheets with parchment and spray with pan spray. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces (I weighed mine whole, then used a calculator to divide the ounce total by 12 for accuracy; pastry chef habit), and roll each piece into a rope about 18 inches long.
  7. Form each dough rope into a pretzel and place on pans. Cover pretzels with a clean linen cloth and let rise for 25 minutes.
  8. Bring a stockpot or other large pot of water just to a boil. Add ¼ cup baking soda — careful, it will bubble aggressively for a moment — and stir to dissolve. Boil the pretzels in batches for about a minute, turning halfway through.
  9. Remove pretzels from water bath and let drain for a minute on clean towels.
  10. While you’re boiling the pretzels, preheat the oven to 450°F. Place boiled pretzels on parchment-lined and sprayed baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until deep golden brown.
  11. Transfer the pretzels to a rack to cool completely. While they’re cooling, combine sugars, spices, and salt in a pie plate or similar rimmed dish. Brush the pretzels with a very light coat of melted butter, then toss in sugar-spice mixture until coated.
  12. Notes
    • If you buy your yeast in 1 pound packages like I do, the equivalent to a single yeast packet is 2.25 teaspoons. Now you know.
    • These can be frozen before they are coated. Just wrap plain pretzels in plastic wrap and place in a zipper-sealed plastic freezer bag. When ready to serve, thaw, brush with butter and toss in sugar-spice mixture.

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