Who doesn’t love Pretzels? My favourite ones are brown outside and soft and fluffy inside. You probably know them very well but you might not have imagined that everyone can make them at home!
Several years ago I spent three month in Hamburg during a business trip and I became almost addicted to pretzels. I think I didn’t miss a single day during my whole time there without eating at least one!
In fact until recently it never came to my mind to bake my own pretzels. But one day I just decided that time has come for me to accept the “pretzel challenge”. I didn’t expect that it would be that easy, though.
I decided to stuff my pretzels with cheese (who wouldn’t love stuffed pretzels?) so the most convenient format for the purpose was the rolls. It is also much easier to make balls than the regular knot shape. The most important thing here is to close well the cheese in the dough in order to avoid leakage. Obviously if some of the cheese accidentally leaks out it won’t be the end of the world but we would prefer the whole quantity to stay inside the rolls. The secret is to wrap very well the piece of cheese into the piece of dough, to close the dough and to keep rolling a ball until you make sure there is no hole any more.
And if you are wondering what kind of cheese is best, the answer is simple: any kind you like! Mozzarella, Cheddar, Emmental, even ricotta or gorgonzola. Pretzels are just good with everything!
Same as majority of my recipes, I wanted also these pretzels to be QUICK and EASY, or al least as quick as bread made from scratch could be. And I think I accomplished this goal. The raising time of the dough is the only moment that slows down the baking process but the good thing is that you can do something else in the meanwhile. The total time from start to finish is not more than 3-3,5 hours.
The Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Rolls are best served warm. They are really good while the cheese is still melted inside! They are still nice and tasty at room temperature but you can also reheat them slightly in the oven after they cool down.
- 500 g all purpose flour
- 14 g active dry yeast
- 130 ml warm water
- 130 ml milk
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 45 g butter melted
- 150 g cheese cubed
- 1,5 l water + 3 tbs baking soda
- 1 egg beaten
- sea salt for sprinkling
In a medium bowl combine water, sugar, 1 tbs flour and yeast. Cover with cling film and set aside for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl combine yeast mixture, flour, milk, salt and melted butter. Stir and then knead for about 10 minutes by hand or with the dough attachment of an electric mixer, until a firm dough forms. Leave the dough in the bowl covered with tea towels. Let sit for 1-2 hours or until it significantly increases its size.
Divide the dough into 10-12 pieces. Take one piece, make it flat and and extend it. Place a cube of cheese in the middle and wrap it around with the dough. Roll the dough into your hands to make a ball. Make sure there is no visible hole from any side.
Place the ball into a large baking pan covered with parchment paper.
Repeat the procedure with the remaining pieces of dough. Let the rolls stay uncovered in a warm place for 30-60 minutes to raise.
Fill a large pan with 1,5 l of water and bring it to boil. Add the baking soda. Drop one bread roll into the boiling water and remove it with a spatula in 20-30 seconds. Return it on he baking sheet.
After boiling all the rolls, brush them with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 200 degrees C for 20-30 minutes or until deep brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Adapted from BBC Good Food