Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cheese Stuffed Pretzels

The last time I made these babies they were gobbled up before I could even sneak a pic.  This time I squirreled some away so that I could take a pic the next day. While they look much better fresh out of the oven, I just had to post this because these are so worth sharing.

I stuffed some with cheddar and some with mozzarella.  All was eaten either way.  Everyone wanted to nix the ham.  Frankly, I have to agree- just cheese please.  Oh and plain was awesome too.


Adapted from this recipe at Gourmet.

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup warm water (110–115ºF)
1 cup warm milk (110–115ºF)
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
slices of sharp Cheddar or mozzarella

6 cups water
4 teaspoons baking soda

1 to 2 tablespoons pretzel salt or coarse salt

Stir together yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, and warm water in a large bowl and let stand until foamy, 5 to 8 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast.) In a separate bowl, stir remaining 2 Tbsp brown sugar into warm milk until dissolved.

Add 2 1/2 cups flour and milk mixture to yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a soft dough forms, adding up to 1/2 cup additional flour, a little at a time, if necessary. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times to form a smooth ball. Transfer to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and bubbles appear on surface, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400ºF with rack in upper and lower thirds. Line two 4-sided sheet pans with parchment paper.

Roll out sheets.  Cut rectangles out and place your cheese slice on top.  Fold dough over onto itself and seal all around.  Crimp sides to keep them together. Keep lining them up on a sprayed baking sheet before you go to the baking soda boil.  The baking soda boil is completely necessary for the pretzel taste.

Bring water (6 cups) to a boil in a 4- to 5-qt saucepan. Reduce heat and stir in baking soda. Make sure your baking soda is completely dissolved. Cook pretzel bites in batches in gently simmering water, turning once, until slightly puffed, about 20 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to sheet pans. Salt with pretzel salt.

Bake until puffed and golden-brown, about 15 minutes (cheese may ooze slightly- and dang that's a nice little snack for the cook!).

Serve warm or at room temperature with dip.

Honey Mustard Dip

1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey

Mix the ingredients together and use for dip.  This stuff is awesome.

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