Can you believe how quickly time has gone? I feel like I've improved my cooking skills and explored many different recipes over the past (not quite) year but there is always room for improvement. I still consider myself an amateur cook and what gets me by is my ability to follow a recipe. I hope that you've found something that you were able to make and enjoy from this collection of recipes. If there's something you'd like to see or a recipe you think I should try, definitely leave me a comment so I can give it a shot!
This post is the final in the 2010 Super Bowl series. If you missed the others, check out the Spicy Sausage Dip and Honey Mustard Sauce recipes here! The recipe was supposed to end up with bite sized pretzel spirals but as I had technical difficulties, I ended up using the method from Pizza Bites and adding green pepper for color and flavor. Nobody knew the difference and they were eaten right up. Ahhh, I love recipe adaptation...and using my bread maker for kneading and rising :). It's the lazy (wo)man's way to baking delicious bread. I definitely see a lot of potential in the "bites" arena...the endless possibilities. Jes told me she'd made some with chicken and pesto filling. Yum!
I loved the way our house smelled while these were baking. It smelled like real soft pretzels and the smell was almost intoxicating!
Ham, Cheese, and Green Pepper Pretzel Bites
Yields: About 30 individual bites
For the dough:
- 1½ tsp. instant yeast
- 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1 cup warm milk
- 2½-3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup small diced ham
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup green pepper, diced
- 6 cups water
- 4 tsp. baking soda
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- Kosher salt (or pretzel salt), for topping
- To make the dough, combine the yeast, brown sugar, water, milk, and 2½ cups of flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until a dough has formed. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed until a soft, elastic dough forms. Add the remaining flour a 1-2 tablespoons at a time until the dough is tacky but not sticky. (Alternatively, add dough ingredients to your bread machine according to the manufacturer's directions. Set it to the "dough" setting and set it and forget it until the end of the cycle. Skip to step 3 if using bread machine.)
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, until the dough has doubled in size and bubbles on the surface, about 1½ to 2 hours.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pinch dough off into 30 equal balls. Spoon some of the diced ham, green pepper and the shredded cheese into the middle of the dough ball then pinch the edges shut so the filling is tightly sealed inside. Place seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough, and the remaining filling.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Bring the 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. (Make sure to use a big pot because it will bubble when you add the baking soda!) Add the baking soda and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Boil the pretzel bites in batches, cooking for about 30 seconds and turning once. They should be slightly puffed. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to transfer them back to the baking sheet.
- Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Brush the warm pretzel bites with the melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt. Serve with dipping sauce (such as Honey Mustard Sauce), if desired. (Not that it needs a sauce - it's plenty flavorful on its own!)