Tag Archives: pretzel

Buttery Soft Pretzels w/ Serrano Bacon Cheddar Sauce

Soft pretzels have to be one of my favorite snack foods ever. As a child, I would stand in line at the “snack bar” of my k-8 school every lunch with the 75cents I somehow managed to find that morning for one. Sorry mom, I wasn’t eating the lunch line’s green beans and hamburger steak..  

As an adult, it’s what I nosh on at every sporting event, fair or concert…and don’t even get me started on how many I quite frankly inhaled during the pregnancy of my second son. I’d load my first child up (who was about 8 months old) in the car and take him and my fat butt up to Target just to buy 1 or 2 warm, large pretzels at their snack bar. I’d then put my baby in a cart and walk around aimlessly stuffing my also fat face while contemplating on buying just one more. Yes, I may indeed have a soft pretzel problem.

Now some may argue it’s a bad idea that I can now make my own. I’d normally tell them to be quiet but..well….my mouth is so full of soft pretzel that I physically can’t ;).

*Hey, if you’re going to do it right, serve it alongside my homemade spicy cheese sauce and save the mustard for the baseball game!

The Starting Lineup

Pretzel Dough

  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast 
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 rounded Tbsp brown sugar (dark or light)
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt 
  • 2 cups bread flour 
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

Baking Soda Bath

  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 2 cups warm water

Garnish

  • Kosher/rock salt
  • and/or cinnamon and sugar mix
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted 

Serrano Bacon Cheddar Sauce (optional)

  • 2 Serrano peppers, seeded and finely diced (I, of course, kept the heat in mine 😉
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled (reserve 1 Tbsp of the grease)
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Pinch each of salt, pepper & garlic powder  

To start your pretzel dough, combine 1 1/2 cups of warm water and the yeast into the bowl of your mixer. Gently mix together and allow to sit for about 5 minutes till it starts to foam up a bit.  

   Next, add in the brown sugar and the salt to the yeast mix. Stir together until it’s dissolved. Now add in both types of flour (all 4 cups), and using the paddle attachment mix on low for about 15 seconds to combine. Switch the attachment to the dough hook and mix in high for 5-6 minutes to knead the dough. 

     Lightly oil a large bowl and place the kneaded ball of dough into it. Cover and let sit in a warm spot for 1 hour to rise. 

 Immediately after setting your dough to rise, make the baking soda bath. This part is easy, simply combine 2 cups of warm water with 2 Tbsp of baking soda. Stir often throughout the next hour. 

 After the dough has risen, cut off about 1 cup of dough at a time and roll into a 1/2″ thick rod shape. (*do not flour the counter here, damp hands work best). 

   Now here you can either cut that long strip of dough into 1-2″ pieces OR shape into your traditional pretzel shape. Once to your liking, carefully give each a quick dunk into the baking soda bath and set onto a greased baking sheet. Repeat till dough is gone. 

 Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and let the pretzels rise again for about 15 minutes (while the oven gets to temp). Bake for 10-12 minutes. While these are baking you can melt the 4 tbsp of butter. Remove from the oven and brush the pretzels/pretzel bites with the melted butter and either sprinkle with kosher or rock salt OR toss in a large ziplock bag with a cinnamon-sugar mix. 

   Serve immediately with a dipping sauce and enjoy!! 

 

Serrano Bacon Cheddar Sauce (optional)

In a sauté pan fry up the bacon, remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Drain all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon grease…that stuff’s good as gold! 

 Add 1 tbsp of butter to the reserved bacon grease and melt. Once melted stir in the flour to form a rue and then quickly whisk in the milk. Whisk Whisk Whisk till smooth! Now slowly whisk in the two cups cheese till creamy and then fold in the cooked, crumbled bacon and the finely diced Serrano peppers. Pour into individual ramekins and serve alongside some warm, soft pretzels!  

           

Hot Ham & Cheese Pretzel’wich

Wow!  Scratch made pretzel rolls will make anything taste good.  Guaranteed.  Which is why this normal ‘boring’ ham & cheese sandwich just got taken to a whole new level!  Served hot with the melting cheese and salty crust of your warm pretzel roll…to die for.  Ok..that may be a bit extreme, but you get the idea.

The Starting Linup

Pretzel

  • 4 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 packet Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for garnish
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and divided 4/1
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with splash of water)  

Sandwich Filling

  • 1 lb Quality deli ham (I prefer Black Forest)
  • 8 slices cheese (I.e. muenster, Swiss, cheddar)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard (I prefer Dijon or spicy brown)
  • Dill pickle slices  

Making homemade pretzel rolls really isn’t as hard as one may think.  If you have a stand mixer and an hour & a half to spare, you’re sure to impress your family with these!

In your mixing bowl, combine the warm water, yeast packet and both sugars.  Gently give it a quick stir and let sit for 10 minutes.  It will foam up a little bit. 


Fitted with the dough hook, add in the flour, salt and 4Tbsp of the melted butter.  Mix on medium speed till just combined.  *preheat your oven to 350.  Once ready, turn oven off.  You just want the back of your stove to be slightly warm. Scrape edges of bowl as necessary to incorporate all ingredients into the dough.  

Cover the bowl with Saran Wrap and a tea towel.  Place covered bowl on the back of your stove to rest and rise for 1 hour.  *now you have an hour of free time!..or in my case, time to fold the laundry or pick up toys..

  


After the hour is up, your dough will have appeared to almost double in size!  Uncover your dough and literally give it a soft punch.  I love this part.  It will deflate just a bit. 

 

Transfer the dough from the bowl to a clean, lighty floured counter top.

Here your going to divide into 8 equal parts.  Form into a ball with your hands and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  They should be a good 1″ apart from each other, I stagger them.  Recover with Saran Wrap and the tea towl and place back into the stovetop for 30 minutes for its 2nd rise.

  
When those are getting close to done with their 2nd rise and have almost doubled in size, bring about 2 quarts of water to a low boil.  Also, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  

  

exciting pic isnt it?…

Once the water has reached its low boil, remove from heat.  Slowly (and I do mean SLOWLY) add in the baking soda.  I’d say just a tbsp at a time or you’ll have a huge overflowing mess.  *you didn’t know you’d be doing a science experiment did you??  Return the baking soda/water to the stove top on a simmer.  Add in the risen dough balls about 2-3 at a time to the water.  I usually float them for 30 seconds, turn over for another 30 seconds and then transfer them back to the baking sheet. 

Mix up that egg wash.  Using a pastry brush, coat the dough rolls alllll over.  *I always end up just using my hands.  Rub that egg wash all over them and slighty reshape the dough into a round shape.  With a sharp knife, make a slight score on the tops of each dough roll.


Bake these bad boys in your 425 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes or until tops are a golden brown.

Remove from the oven and coat the tops with a bit of the remaining tbsp of melted butter and a sprinkle of kosher salt. 

 

Assembly time!!  Make these your own with any variety of meats and cheeses, but here is how I did ours..

With a serrated bread knife, I cut each pretzel roll in half horizontally.  I topped each side with a good slather of mayonnaise and mustard.  I then placed the bottoms only back onto the baking sheet.  

Next, I added the ham with a slice of yummy, melty cheese.  Place this back in your oven to melt and become gooey.  *I use the broiler setting, but watch closely. 

 Remove from the oven.  Top off with a few slices of dill pickles and the pretzel roll top…enjoy!!! 

 

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