Sometimes I dream about hot pretzels. I love a good dough: crunchy exterior and a soft, fluff interior. For a while I was satisfied with the simple version of this recipe, one that required no filling, but then… then I think I saw this recipe in a Food Network mag and it just stuck with me for so long that I simply had to bake it. Nutella, cheese, chocolate, herbs, butter, mustard, seeds, everything, absolutely everything can go inside and outside, the possibilities are endless. The first time I made this recipe it was such a big success that I decided to put it on heavy rotation: I ended up experimenting with so many combinations! The only bad part about the whole thing is that these pretzels make you real fat real fast, there, I said it. They’re not as fresh if stored for longer than 3 days (ha, as if they’d make it until then) so it’s best to serve them hot and be done with them.
sea salt and swiss cheese or parmesan + dried basil; sea salt and sesame or poppy seeds, etc.
Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F fan forced.
Place the water, honey, yeast, flour, salt and 1 egg in the bowl of your stand mixer and knead just just until incorporated, when a soft dough forms (not too much). Add a maximum of 150 g/5 oz flour if the dough is too sticky. Divide the dough in 4 equal parts and cover with a napkin; you can fill each piece of dough with a different filling.
Take the first piece of dough and roll it on a slightly floured surface in the form of a rectangle; it shouldn't be more than 1 cm/0.5 inch thick. The smaller side of the rectangle should be facing you; put some filling in the middle of the rectangle, fold one of the sides over it, then place some more filling on top of it then fold the other part over it.
Take the resulting rectangle and roll it again until it reaches a 1 cm/0.5 inch thickness.
Cut the rectangle lengthwise in thin strips (30x5cm or 12x2 in), roll each dough strip then fold them in a pretzel shape. Hopefully these pictures will provide a better guidance of this entire procedure:
Place each pretzel on a lined baking sheet, cover with a napkin and let proof for about 10-15 minutes.
Right before popping them into the oven, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with the topping of choice. Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until golden.
For these babies I used a combo of smoked cheese and mustard plus nigella seeds (for two portions), butter, herbs, sea salt and paprika for another portion and, of course chocolate for the last one. This recipe yields about 16-18 pretzels, but they’re big and meaty, so expect to be satiated after just two or three.
I know it might look complicated at first, but the honest truth is that they’re really fast to make: the proofing is 10-15 minutes (!) so basically, if you’re used to working with dough in general, this recipe should be done within the hour. Imagine: you’re one hour away from the pretzels of your dreams! Yup, pretzels stuffed with chocolate, ftw.