Pretzel Focaccia with maple mustard dipping sauce is the easiest way to get your fix of soft, homemade pretzel-y goodness. This easy one hour pretzel bread recipe skips the messy bits and gets straight to the ‘yum’.
This pretzel focaccia is no-knead, and ready to bake in about an hour!
I have a weakness for a good soft pretzel, but I rarely want to fuss with making them myself. Enter, pretzel focaccia. A clever topping gives them that irresistible dark golden pretzel-y vibe (more on that below), and if you’re anything like me, you’ve basically got dinner (or, ok, a really good appetizer.)
Oktoberfest, game days, cozy nights in, this recipe is for you.
Let’s talk focaccia
Focaccia is an Italian flat bread that’s served as an antipasto or table bread. It’s a very soft, spongey dough that requires no kneading, and that makes it one of the easiest breads you can make. Even non-bakers can made focaccia successfully. (You basically stir it up in a bowl and pour it onto a baking sheet.)
Focaccia is great plain, but works as a base for all kinds of delicious toppings. I’m sort of obsessed:
- Rosemary and Olive No Knead Focaccia
- Apple, Cheddar, and Fig Focaccia
- Summer Tomato Focaccia
- Meyer Lemon and Rosemary Focaccia
So what makes this focaccia pretzel-y?
Glad you asked. Traditional soft pretzels are par-boiled in a mixture of water and baking soda before being baked. It’s what gives them their glossy brown sheen. It’s messy, and how the heck would you boil a whole loaf of focaccia, anyway? Not gonna happen.
To mimic the pretzel effect
- We pull out our handy pastry brush.
- First, the dough is brushed with a mixture of baking soda and water, then baked for 5 minutes.
- After it comes out of the oven, we drench it in a rich mixture of melted butter and egg yolk, and shower it with flaky salt.
- Back in the oven for 15 minutes to get nice and deep golden brown. Don’t let the color fool you, it’s not crunchy on top at all. Just buttery, golden, and soft. Swoon.
The maple mustard dipping sauce, though
You could serve this focaccia with a flight of different mustards, and if you’re a mustard aficionado, go for it. But instead I whipped up a hard-to-resist maple mustard sauce that is so good I had to give it a post of its own. I’m sure you’ve got these ingredients in the kitchen ~
- creamy yellow mustard
- apple cider vinegar
- maple syrup
- a pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Check out the maple mustard dipping sauce recipe here.
More delicious appetizers I would totally eat for dinner ~
- Mushroom and Gruyere Bruschetta
- Cheesey Brussels Sprout Dip
- Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Hummus
- Baked Feta Cheese with Olives and Lemon
For the focaccia
- 1 package instant yeast (1/4 ounce or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 cups lukewarm water (105F – 110F)
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 4 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1-2 Tbsp flaky salt, for topping (I used Maldon salt)
- 1 batch maple mustard dipping sauce, Get the recipe here
For the focaccia
- Add the yeast, salt, brown sugar, and warm water to a large mixing bowl and stir briefly to combine.
- Add the flour, and stir until a shaggy, sticky dough forms.
- Place the dough in a very lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for about 1 hour until doubled in size and very spongey. Preheat the oven to 425F towards the end of the rising time.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently turn the dough onto the lined baking sheet and nudge it into a large rectangle.
- Mix the baking soda with 1 cup of water and brush this mixture over the unbaked focaccia dough (a silicone pastry brush is a great tool for this).
- Put the focaccia in the oven for 5 minutes. While it's cooking, mix the egg yolk with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
- Remove the focaccia from the oven, brush generously with the butter and egg yolk mixture, top with salt, and return to the oven for about 15 more minutes until it is a deep golden brown and fully cooked.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly before slicing and eating. Serve with maple mustard dipping sauce.