Recipe from Kelly Cooks... And Other Amazing Feats
These were really delicious and pretty easy to make. I wish I had kept them in the oven for just a few more minutes, but we were trying to get out the door, and these were coming with us. They still turned out well, and I think everyone else who tried them thought the same. :)
I didn't try the dipping sauce on Kelly's blog. I just used some pre-made honey mustard, which was a good match. I think any kind of mustard would be good with these.
1 1/2 t active dry yeast
2 T plus 1 t packed brown sugar, divided
1/4 c warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 c warm milk (110-115 degrees)
2 1/2 - 3 c AP flour
1/2 c finely chopped ham
1/3 - 2/3 finely chopped sharp Cheddar
6 c water
4 t baking soda
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
Pretzel salt (I didn't have any, so I used kosher)
In a large bowl, mix together yeast, water, and 1 t brown sugar. Let sit for about 5-8 minutes until foamy. If it doesn't foam, start over with new yeast.
In a small bowl, stir together remaining brown sugar and milk until sugar is dissolved.
With a wooden spoon, add the milk mixture and 2 1/2 c flours to the yeast mixture. Mix together until dough begins to form, adding more flour in small increments (up to 1/2 cup) only if needed.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times just to form a ball. Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise about 2 hours, until doubled in size and bubbles begin to appear on the surface.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into four equal pieces. Have a large sheet pan ready.
Take the first piece of dough and roll to a 12" rope. Use the rolling pin and roll out to about 4" - creating a roughly 12"x4" rectangle. Place the ham and cheese across the lower third dough, leaving about 1/2" of space along bottom edge.
Stretch bottom edge up over filling and press tightly to seal. Continue to roll as tightly as possible to form a rope. Cut into 12 pieces, and transfer to the sheet pan. Repeat with the other 3 pieces of dough.
Let rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. And preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bring the 6 cups of water to a boil, then bring back to a simmer and mix in the baking soda.
Add pretzel bites to the water in batches, turning once, for about 20 seconds each, until slightly puffed. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the baking sheet.
Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and lightly brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Enjoy hot or at room temp.
You can also freeze these, after they have cooled. Just thaw for 30 minutes, then reheat at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.