April 26th is National Pretzel Day!
Per wiki…“2003- Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell declares April 26 National Pretzel Day to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state’s history and economy.”
Did you know you can get free pretzels today? Check out this link!!!!
I’ve made pretzels once before. And I got a little frustrated when my pretzels wouldn’t stay together during the water bath. Nick laughed at me. I got mad. Then I realized he was right to laugh (I get a little “type A” personality when I bake!). So maybe they weren’t all picture perfect, but they sure tasted good anyways!
For National Pretzel Day, I decided to do pretzel bites! Tucked inside those pretzel bites are pieces of mozzarella cheese and pepperoni! The dough is real easy to work with. It was a little sticky while forming around the pepperoni and cheese, but that seemed to help me, as it was easy to seal the edges. The recipe makes 24 bites, which would be perfect as appetizers for today’s football draft, however, I just baked up 12 of them and put the other 12 in the freezer. I’ve never tried that with homemade pretzels, so once I bake up the frozen ones, I’ll update this post as to if it works and the baking time!
Pepperoni and Mozzarella Pretzel Bites
Adapted from Bobby Flay-Food Network
Prep time: 2 hours (1 hour active, 1 hour resting) Bake time: 15 minutes
1 1/2 cups warm water*
1 package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons lightly packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
3 quarts water
1/2 cup baking soda
96 pieces pepperoni
24- 1 inch pieces mozzarella
1 teaspoon water
Pretzel salt or coarse sea salt
*Note: the water temp should be between 105 and 115 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, just stick your finger in the water. It should feel warm, not hot.
In a stand mixer with the hook attachment, combine the water, yeast, brown sugar, and butter. Mix on low speed until just combined. Let sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn the mixer back on low speed and add in the salt and start adding in the flour, 1 cup at a time. After 4 cups of flour, slowly add just enough additional flour that the dough pulls away from the side of the mixing bowl. Let the mixer run for 3 minutes- adding a little more flour if needed.
After 3 minutes, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes (adding flour if needed). Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl, turning once, in order to coat both sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm area for about an hour, or until the dough doubles in size.
While the dough is rising (no singing the Door’s song…NICK!), get out the pepperoni slices and cut up the mozzarella into 1 inch squares. Set aside.
After 1 hour, put 3 quarts water into a large stockpot, place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the baking soda.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Retrieve your dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut into 4 even pieces, then cut each of those into 6 pieces (total of 24). Take one piece of dough and flatten it out (I just used my palm to flatten it). Place 2 pieces of pepperoni (one on top of the other) on the dough. Top it with 1 piece of cheese, then 2 more pieces of pepperoni. Starting with the edges closest and furthest away from you, fold the dough over the filling. Then fold over one side, then the other- pinching the edges to seal completely. Set aside and repeat until you have 12 pretzel bites completed.
Once 12 are filled and ready, and the water is boiling, using a spider or a slotted spoon, slowly place 6 pretzels into the boiling water. Boil for 30 seconds (15 seconds for each side), then remove and place onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
In a small bowl, mix the egg with 1 teaspoon water. Brush the egg wash on the top of each pretzel bite. Sprinkle with pretzel salt or coarse sea salt. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Note: While these are in the oven, go ahead and finish making the other 12 pretzel bites. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before moving the pretzel bites to a serving plate. Enjoy!
For more recipes using yeast, check out the weekly showcases on YeastSpotting!
Made with love, not calories!