Normally when I wake up bleary-eyed after a long Saturday night I shortly go out in search of Vitamin G to cure what ails me. Lately, however, I have gone straight to the Capitol Hill Farmers Market every Sunday at 11am sharp to get an insanely delicious pretzel from Mike at Heavenly Pastry and Cake. Heavenly was founded by his wife, Allison (who used to work at Cupcake Royale); they are up at the crack of dawn cranking out pretzels (and a plethora of pastries and breads as well) by hand.
Banish all thoughts of a dry, bland soft pretzel, spinning under the heat lamp at various professional sporting events. These have a chewy, toothsome crust and an airy interior that would shame many baguettes. The secret, according to Mike, is time: you have to let the dough rise until it is overflowing, then punch out the air and let it rise again. Kosher salt on top finishes it off but, if you must gild the lily, a bottle of yellow mustard is on hand:
Mike brings 180 pretzels to the Capitol Hill market, and, at only $2 each, often sells out. According to Mike there have been no incidents of pretzel rage, but he has had people remark incredulously, “How could you run out?!?” What is it about the humble pretzel that inspires such passion, comfort, and emotion? Find out for yourself at the Capitol Hill market, or Fridays at Madison Valley and Saturdays at Magnolia. Or for the ultimate food and drink pairing, head to Elliot Bay Brewing in West Seattle for a beer and a pretzel. (Mike does admit that the humble pretzel is also a fine match with a humble, well-chilled PBR.)