Sometimes I just want bread for dinner, and last night was one of those nights. When I got home from class around 4 I made a grilled cheese with avocado and some of my new basil olive oil (thanks, Caitlin!). But that was just a snack.
A few hours later I threw some yeast, milk, water, sugar, flour and a bunch of cheese and herbs into a dough, let it rise for an hour, then shaped and baked some delicious chewy pretzels.
These have garlic, parsley, onion, salt, cheddar, parmesan, and a little rosemary in them. The outside browns beautiful, crisping just enough to give a contrast with the soft chewy, herby inside. They are perfect out of the oven (and you should heat them up if you manage to save some for later), and especially nice dipped in some marinara, if that’s your thing.
I used two recipes as inspiration: http://www.littlespicejar.com/garlic-parmesan-soft-pretzels-2-other-ways/ and http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/breads/homemade-cheddar-e2809cgarlice2809d-soft-pretzels/. But I combined them and changed amounts, so I’m printing the recipe I used below.
Cheese and Herb Pretzels
(Makes 6 medium pretzels.)
- 1 package yeast
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 T brown sugar
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 1 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 T butter, melted, plus 2-3 more for brushing
- 1 t salt
- 1 cup cheddar, shredded
- 2 T parsley
- 1 T minced onion
- 5 T parmesan (I had a rosemary blend)
- 1.5 t garlic powder
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 3 cups water for baking soda wash
- Combine milk and water in a small pan and heat until about 110F.
- Add yeast and brown sugar to a large bowl and then pour the warm milk/water mixture over it and stir to combine. Let sit three minutes.
- Combine wheat and all purpose flour.
- Add 1 cup of flour mixture to the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon.
- Add 2 T melted butter and stir.
- Add the rest of the flour mixture and the salt.
- Add the cheddar and the parsley and minced onion.
- In a separate small bowl combine the parmesan and the garlic powder. Add 2 T of this mixture to the dough, and save the rest for topping the pretzels.
- Cover the dough and let it rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 450
- Punch down the dough and separate into six approximately equal portions.
- Roll each portion into a thin rope, 24-30 inches long. I found that pulling and also hitting the dough on the counter helped this process. Shape the ropes into pretzels.
- Combine the 3 cups water and the baking soda, warm until just simmering. Holding your hands beneath the pretzels so they don’t fall apart, quickly dunk each pretzel into the mixture, and then return them to the baking sheet.
- Bake for 5 minutes and then brush with some melted butter.
- Return to the oven for another 4-6 minutes. When they come out of the oven, brush again with butter and sprinkle additional parmesan/garlic on the tops.