Here's how proud the Baltimore area is of its crabmeat. Go ahead, look at the photo. Actually, mine don't do them justice — the real Baltimore crab pretzels are legit twisted stadium pretzels, roughly the size of a dinner plate and positively coated with thick crab salad and shredded cheese. Lest I ask you to break out the dough hook for the stand mixer I'm sure you all have, I use pre-made pizza dough to achieve very nearly the same results in an hour or less.
I like this play on crab pretzels in stick form because they're easier to make for a crowd, but if you want to try your hand at a gargantuan twisted pretzel, by all means go right ahead. It's good timing: These would be the ultimate snack to serve while watching the Ravens take on the Colts as the NFL playoffs kick off this weekend.
- 1 pound pizza dough, thawed if frozen
- 1/2 pound flake or backfin crabmeat, picked over for shell fragments
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 heaped tablespoons mayonnaise
- juice and zest of one lemon
- kosher salt, to taste
- 6 ounces shredded cheddar and jack mix
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- snipped chives, to garnish
For the crab dip:
- In a large bowl, combine crabmeat, cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, zest and salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the pretzels:
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Divide pizza dough into 8 portions, then roll each portion into a thick rope.
- Brush each one with beaten egg, then bake for 10 minutes until just about golden brown. Do not bake completely or your pretzels will be too hard.
- Remove pretzels from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Layer each pretzel with a thick layer of crab salad, then sprinkle generously with shredded cheese, pressing in to adhere.
- Preheat broiler to high and return pretzels to the oven about 6 inches from the flame.
- Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden-brown.
- Remove from oven, garnish with chives and serve while hot.
Some dips for the snack with dip built in?