Bowline Pretzels with Pirate Mustard Sauce

Yes, all you Galley Pirates out there know how to tie a bowline, right? It’s just part of being a sailor. But how many times have you had to tie a bowline…NOW…when you have a complete brain freeze and start rehearsing “…rabbit through the hole? around the tree? up the hole? or is it a squirrel?…” as you’re quickly drifting away from the piling? The key to not having that memory lapse is to make tying a bowline a motor memory skill. And Galley Pirates are here to help! It’s time to start making pretzels…and we’re tying them into bowlines. We promise after making a dozen of these you will never forget!

Baked Pretzels

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1 tablespoon. instant yeast
1 1/2 cups. warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon salt
4 cups flour
Cooking spray
1 egg with a tablespoon of water (for wash)
Kosher salt for sprinkling

Non-stick aluminum foil

Combine the yeast, warm water, honey and salt in a large bowl. Let stand for a couple minutes until it starts to bubble. You know the yeast is active now. Add the flour and mix in with a wooden spoon. Switch to your hands and begin kneading the dough. The dough should not stick to your hands. If it is sticky add a little more flour.

Preheat your oven to above 425º. Pull of a small handful of dough and start rolling. Roll and stretch until it’s about 2′ long and 1/2″ in diameter. It will be very springy so you have to keep rolling and pulling and fighting the dough’s urge to contract. Once you have a nice long even “line” you can start forming your bowlines.

How to Tie a Bowline
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4

Step 1

Make the first loop. (or...the rabbit "hole")

Step 2

Bring bottom of the line up through the loop. (the rabbit goes through the "hole")

Step 3

Bring the line in back of the top line. (rabbit goes around the back of the "tree.")

Step 4

Bring the line back down through the loop. (rabbit goes back down the "hole") Tighten.

Place them on a well greased non-stick aluminum foil. Normally you would not have to grease non-stick aluminum foil, but these can be very sticky.

Beat the egg and water together and brush the pretzels with the egg wash.

Sprinkle with a generous amount of Kosher salt.

Bake for 15-20 minutes in your very hot galley oven. If these don’t brown, best to light your broiler if you have one. I had to do this and they browned up very well. Let them cool for 10 minutes before lifting them off the foil.

If you haven’t already made the Honey Mustard Sauce (which can be made days in advance) prepare the sauce while the pretzels cool.

Pirate Mustard Sauce

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1 cup rough cut Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
A few drops of Ghost Peppers (optional if you don’t want to be a pirate today)

Mix all the ingredients above and serve with the warm pretzels.

So there you have it. YOU can now tie a bowline, under pressure, and without really thinking. But if you do encounter that “bowline brain freeze” ever again, remember big-time sailor and Annapolitan, Gary Jobson’s quote, “If you can’t tie good knots, tie plenty of them!”

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