Stuffed Soft Pretzels
When you're craving that salty and pillowy-soft, warm pretzel, these never disappoint!
Stuffed Soft Pretzels
Cook time: 20 minutes. Prep time: 40 minutes. Inactive prep time: 45 minutes. Yield: 10 medium pretzels or 24 small pretzel rolls.
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 packet dry yeast
1 lb and 6 ounces all-purpose flour
2 ounces butter, melted
1/4 lb sopressata, diced
1/4 lb diced mozzarella
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 quarts water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 yolk & 1 tablespoon water
1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. The water should be about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (see tip below).
2. In a large bowl, add flour, salt and melted butter. Add yeast mixture to the bowl and stir together with a spatula.
3. When dough comes together, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until a smooth ball forms, about 5 minutes.
4. Rest dough in an oiled bowl, covered with a tea towel for 30-50 minutes at room temperature, until the dough doubles in size.
5. While the dough rests, dice the sopressata and mozzarella into tiny cubes and set aside.
6. Preheat the oven to 400 F on the convection setting (425 F non-convection). On top of the stove, bring 2 quarts of water and 2/3 cup of baking soda to a simmer in a wide saute pan over very low heat. Stir to dissolve the baking soda.
7. After the dough has doubled, punch it down and divide the dough into balls (larger than a golf ball, but smaller than a rubber ball) to form pretzels. See tips below about stuffed rolls.
8. For the pretzels, roll the dough ball into a rectangle, about 10 inches long by 5 inches wide. Sprinkle the cheese and dried sausage long-ways along the top third of the rectangle. Roll the dough over the filling and keep rolling until you have a rope. Pinch either side closed. Gently roll the rope under your palms, until you have about a 2 foot length. Be careful not to press the filling through the dough (holes will cause the filling to melt through when you bake them).
9. Form the rope into a U-shape. Take the tops of the "U," one in each hand, and cross once to make an upside down cancer ribbon, twist them again and take the edges and pull them forward, pressing them into the bottom portion of the "U" to form the pretzel shape.
10. Place the formed pretzels onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bring over to simmering water with the baking soda.
11. Poach each pretzel in simmering baking soda water for 30-40 seconds, being sure to submerge them in their bath, then return to the baking sheet with a wide spatula.
12. In a small bowl, whisk 1 large yolk and 1 tablespoon of water to form the egg wash. Brush this onto the dough and top with hard pretzel salt or everything bagel spice.
13. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a golden brown pretzel shell forms. Best eaten warm, while the cheese is ooey, gooey and melty.
For small, stuffed pretzel bites: after the dough has doubled in size, pinch off about a ping-pong sized ball of dough. To make the small rolls, roll out the dough 2 inches wide by 3 inches long, and sprinkle in desired fillings. Roll the dough over the filling, tucking the sides like a burrito. Cup your hand and gently roll the ball against the counter to seal all sides. Be careful not to tear holes in the dough.
If you tear a hole in the dough, try to patch it with a small piece of extra dough. Holes will cause the filling to seep through the pretzel (buns).
For 100 degree water, run the faucet over your fingers. Once you can no longer feel the water temperature, it will be about 98 degrees, or body temperature, which is perfect for dissolving yeast.
Have fun with the filling, try cheddar and jalapeno. or cinnamon sugar and butter, jelly and nuts, scallions and cream cheese, go wild!