It All Makes Senf to Me (That's German for Mustard!)

   By ChefErin  Aug 06, 2013

When Vince and I visited Germany several years ago, I fell in love - with the people, the mountains, and the mustard.  When I was creating recipes for The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook, I knew I had to include a Bavarian-Style Yellow Mustard. This is my homage to the delightful, lightly sweet, slightly spicy mustard I had so often on that trip. 


This sweet-hot mustard is the perfect companion to wieners, bratwurst, and knockwurst. It also makes a nice dip for pretzels. I’ve suggested two different preparation methods—slow and quick—in this recipe. If you are interested in the natural mellowing of mustard and have the time, try the slow method. If you’d like to eat the mustard right away, the quick method is the one for you.

Yield: Makes 1 cup (175 g)


1/2 cup (72 g) yellow mustard powder/dry mustard (see Note)

1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water

2 tablespoons (26 g) sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt

2 tablespoons (28 ml) cider vinegar


Slow Method—Combine the mustard powder, warm water, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Stir until a smooth paste is formed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit overnight or up to 24 hours.

Stir in the cider vinegar. Transfer the mustard to an airtight container. Cover. The mustard will continue to mellow if left at room temperature. You can allow the mustard to rest on your counter for up to 8 weeks before refrigerating. Test the flavor occasionally to determine whether it has mellowed to the level you desire. When you are satisfied with the flavor, transfer the jar to the refrigerator.

Quick Method—Increase the water to 1/2 cup (120 ml). Combine the mustard powder, warm water, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Maintain a low heat. Do not simmer or boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cider vinegar. Cool to room temperature and transfer to an airtight container. Cover and refrigerate. The mustard can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 12 months.

Note: For spicier mustard, try using Penzeys Regular Canadian Mustard Powder, a blend of brown and yellow mustard.

A Little Note About Heat and Mustard

I’ve seen many mustard recipes over the years that suggest mixing up the mustard, letting it rest overnight, and diving right in. I’m not suggesting those recipes are wrong, but—a word of warning—if you’ve mainly eaten commercially prepared mustards, you might be in for quite an assault on your taste buds, not to mention a clearing of your sinuses, and perhaps a flush of your tear ducts. Homemade mustard can take weeks to mellow.

So, why is the yellow mustard we buy from the grocery store less intense? Well, when mustard seeds are cracked or ground and mixed with cool liquid, a chemical reaction occurs that releases fiery chemical compounds, myrosin and sinigrin. Adding warm liquid instead diminishes some of the burst of heat. In addition, acids, like vinegar, can slow the decline of the heat. If you like a milder mustard, use warm water or warm the mustard over medium-low heat and add the vinegar after the mustard has set for a time.

Incidentally, mustard does not need to be refrigerated, but refrigeration does help maintain the potency.

Excerpted from The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook by Erin Coopey (Quarry Books, 2013)


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