- 3/4 cup dried blueberries or other dried fruit
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 cups all-purpose flour - (to 4 1/2)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg white slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup honeyed cream cheese for spreading
Place the blueberries, sugar and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse to make a thick paste. Grease a large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of oil and set aside. Warm the milk in a small saucepan to 110 degrees, and set aside.
Combine the yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the milk to the bowl, and with the mixer on low speed, beat the mixture for 4 minutes to dissolve the yeast. Add the flour, salt, and blueberry paste to the bowl, and mix on low speed until the dough begins to come together. Increase the mixing speed to medium and beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a tight ball, about 2 minutes.
Oil a large mixing bowl with 1 tablespoon of oil. Remove the dough from the mixer and place it in the oiled mixing bowl, turning to lightly coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and set in a warm, draft-free place. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Remove the dough from the bowl and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 12-inch by 10-inch rectangle. Cut the dough with a sharp knife into 18 pieces (about 1/4-cup each). Gently roll and pull each one into a long thin ribbon, about 1/2-inch in diameter and 14-inches in length. Bring the ends up to form a U-shape and twist to form a wreath, bringing the ends down and across as though making a bow, pressing down to seal the ends.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pretzels in batches of 6. Cook, turning once, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the water and drain on paper towels.
Combine the beaten egg with 2 tablespoons of water. Brush the pretzels with the mixture and sprinkle with a combination of the remaining sugar and 1/2-teaspoon cinnamon. Place on the prepared baking pan and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the pretzels from the oven, and serve warm with honeyed cream cheese.
This recipe yields 18 servings.