A few years ago, I was living in France which meant I had the opportunity to travel quite a bit in Europe. One place I got to go was Germany, home of beer, bratwurst, and bretzles! Pretzels to us non-Germans. Pretzels have long been a staple food in Germany – you can get them at any restaurant or stand around the platz.
In Munich, more than a few times, I stopped to grab a pretzel as a snack, so it comes as no surprise that I love to bake them at home. Of course, I have not perfected the perfect Bavarian pretzel yet, but I’m sure it’ll come.
The other day, my friend mentioned to me that Baby Bel makes mozerella rounds which blew my mind. Cheese is a staple food group as far as I’m concerned and mini-mozerellas sounded absolutely delicious, so I thought what could be better than pretzels and cheese? Inspiration came from this recipe of jam and brie pretzels, but I’m not into the jam aspect and brie is best served on baguettes in my opinion. So I decided to make my own version of cheese-filled pretzel rolls.
The pretzel recipe below was adapted from here
• 1 Package active dry yeast (2 tsp)
• 1 1/3 cup warm water
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 1 T Brown sugar
• 4 ½ cups Flour
Baking soda bath:
– baking soda (2 T per cup of water)
– boiling water
– cheese of your choice
Dissolve yeast in 1/8 cup warm water – if yeast is self-rising, skip this step. In large bowl, add flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add yeast/yeast-water mixture. Mix and knead until dough is smooth and springy. There is no need to let it rest or rise.
In pot, fill approx. 3 inches deep with water. Add 2 tablespoons baking soda per cup of water. Bring to a boil then let simmer – make sure all baking soda is dissolved.
Divide the dough into sixteen pieces and pat out into circles. If using block cheese, cut into cubes and place one in the center of each circle. If using shredded cheese, make ball of cheese and place in the center. Seal the balls.
With baking soda/water mixture at a simmer, drop the pretzel balls into the water for 10-15 seconds each. Remove and drain (I use a slotted spoon or spatula for easy removal). Salt if desired.
Turn on oven to 400 degrees. Place pretzels on baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy warm!