Ham & Cheese Pretzel Bites
These pretzel bites may take a little time to make, but so worth it! The added ham and cheese make these appetizers a favorite.
- 1 (.25-ounce) package active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon brown sugar, packed and divided
- 1/4 cup warm water (110-115°F)
- 1 cup warm milk (110-115°F)
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
- 1/2 cup ham, finely chopped, about 3 ounces
- 1/2 cup cheese of choice, I used cheddar, shredded
- 6 cups water
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 to 2 tablespoons coarse salt
Preparation time 150mins
Cooking time 165mins
Adapted from penniesonaplatter.com
Combine the yeast, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and warm water in a large bowl. Set aside until foamy, 5 to 8 minutes. If using the instant yeast, you can skip this step and just add it to the flour.
In another bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and warm milk until dissolved.
Add 2 1/2 cups flour and milk mixture to the yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Add the remaining flour as needed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times, forming a smooth ball.
Brush the inside of a large clean bowl with olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm, draft free area for about 2 hours, until dough has doubled in size and bubbles appear on the surface.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Lightly dust your hands and rolling pin with flour. Roll one of the four sections into a 12×4-inch rectangle. With the long side facing you, gently press 1/4 of the ham and cheese into the bottom third of the dough, and roll as tightly as possible, starting with the end that has the filling. Cut into 12 (1-inch) pieces and transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining 3 portions of the dough.
Let rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F.
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the baking soda and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Boil pretzels in batches, cooking about 20 seconds each, turning once. They should be slightly puffed. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them back to the baking sheets.
Bake until puffed and golden-brown, about 15 minutes.
Brush warm pretzel bites with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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