Sunday, October 21, 2012

Stuffed Pretzels

Ever since a friend from work posted making soft pretzels on her blog back in July, I have been craving them.  Back in the day I used to make them and freeze them for a treat with mustard.  Enough waiting, it was time to bring back the pretzel with a new twist.

I love my bread machine, and put it to work making the dough.  It only took an hour which was time enough to get my stuffing ready.

My stuffing was inspired by some left over fresh mozzarella cheese I had in the refrigerator.  I tore the fresh and added enough Parmesan and grated mozzarella to make 1 1/2 cups.  I also sprinkled in 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. 

I also had some pepperoni slices to use up and added them to some chopped green pepper, tomato (I scooped out the seeds and membranes) and onion.  I used enough goodies to make 2 cups.  Of course you could add anything you like to this: black olives, jalapeno, or sausage would be good.

I tossed the cheese and yummies together with a tablespoon of olive oil, teaspoon oregano and basil, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.

When the dough was ready, I divided it into 8 equal balls.  Each ball was then rolled one at a time into an 8" circle.  I used a scant 1/2 cup of filling for each serving.

After folding over the dough and pinching the edges to seal, I placed the pretzel into 10 cups of boiling water with 2/3 cups of baking soda to cook for 30 seconds turning halfway through.  Next time I will let these guys rise one more time for about 30 minutes before boiling them.

Cook them one at a time or they will stick together.

I removed them with a slotted spoon, placed them on a parchment covered cookie sheet, brushed with an egg wash (1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water mixed) and sprinkled with kosher salt.  Into a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20  minutes.  Next time I will increase the heat to 425 and watch them closely after 10 minutes.  Remember, you are not so much cooking the filling as you are baking the bread.

Perfect with a side of pizza sauce for dipping.

Just like in the old days, I popped these in the freezer to use as lunches for work.  1 1/2 minutes in the microwave and they taste just as wonderful as when they first came out of the oven.  So many options with this recipe just using the 1 1/2 cups of cheese and 2 cups of veggies and meat.  I'm thinking ham, cheddar, and broccoli with a touch of dry mustard next time or left over BBQ brisket, chopped pickle and onion with BBQ sauce on the side.  Oh my!

Pretzel dough
Great for stuffed pretzels, but I would use Laurie's recipe for traditional soft pretzels.

1 1/2 Cups warm water
4 Tablespoons melted butter
4 1/2 Cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast

Pour water and butter into bread machine followed by the dry ingredients.  Make sure to keep the salt and yeast separated.  Process on dough cycle.