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
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast, (1 pkg. or 1/4 ounce)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 cups lukewarm water, 105°F – 110°F
- 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)
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.
Questions and Reviews
Do you brush the entire cup of water/baking soda mixture onto the dough? It seems like quite a lot of liquid. Thank you.
No, just use what you need to get it liberally brushed.
I made this yesterday to bring to this season’s first autumnal bonfire (we have a lot of those in Minnesota!) and it was a SMASH HIT! 3 people asked for the recipe, another called it sinfully good, and yet another politely requested that everyone stop eating it because he wanted to bring the remaining 3 pieces home to snack on later. Plus, it made me feel like a rockstar to bring warm, fresh, homemade bread – so simple, yet unmatched in the “wow factor” category!
And because there was not a single crumb left, I’m making another batch today to make into ham & cheddar paninis! I think I might sprinkle some chopped fresh rosemary on top, too.
Thank you for yet another great keeper recipe!
Love this Megan, I just quoted you in the post!
I made this yesterday to snack on while watching television with the family. It is absolutely delicious, and so easy to make. Definitely tastes like a pretzel, but without all the dryness of a soft pretzel that happens so often. The family loved it. I’ll will be making this again, without question. Thanks Sue, I enjoy your recipes!
This will be my fourth time making this. My roommate loves it for sandwiches. This bread is the easiest and quickest of all my focaccia recipes.
This was wonderful! It came together very easily and tastes amazing. I will definitely be making it again!
Another winner, Sue! And it seems I did my utmost to destroy it, too – during the first (5 minute) bake, we had a power outage that I didn’t notice, and of course my electric oven shut off and so did the alarm that tells me when stuff is done. I don’t know how long it sat in there, but when the power came back on and I noticed it, the residual heat in the oven was at 320 degrees. I pulled it out, pre-heated the oven back to 425, and waited for it to achieve full heat before putting it back in and starting the first 5 minute bake over again. I also slathered more of the soda water bath on it while I waited as it was looking dry. Finished the recipe as written, and it came out great! I was so happy! You come up with the best stuff, thank you! Just one question: how much of that soda water bath do you use? I had a lot of it left even after 2 washes.
This is the focaccia of my dreams! Soft and pillowy inside with that nice chew on the crust. Not crispy at all. Exactly what I’ve been searching for! An absolute winner. And that sauce! Incredible.
I live in MD and here is all about our famous Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs. Many carry outs & restaurants cover very large pretzels w/crab dip. This sounds like a great substitute. Much less work. Definitely on my list.
Man that sounds good 🙂