Cheese is literally the best thing in the world, followed closely by bread. Putting the two together is pure heaven! Add in pretzel flavor and you’ve got the makings for a masterpiece.
I’ve made this recipe once before, but this time I decided to amp things up and put cheese both inside and on top of the pretzel rolls (why not?!). You can cut these in half to make sandwiches, or just eat them as they are. The original recipe calls for brown sugar, which I didn’t have around, so I used white sugar and they turned out a little sweeter than I like. My husband, on the other hand, LOVES them and has already eaten four (of ten) in the last hour or so. That’s a pretty good testimonial, I think!
Servings10-12 pretzel rolls
- 1 1⁄3 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons warm milk
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light (half-fat) butter, melted
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- kosher salt
- 150 grams shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, 100 for dough and another 50 grams to sprinkle on rolls
- 2 quarts (8 cups) cold water
- baking soda (1/2 cup)
- In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix a 1/3 cup of the warm water (105-115 degrees/40.5-46 C) with the yeast and let stand until foamy.
- Add the remaining cup of warm water along with milk, sugar, and melted butter. Swirl to dissolve the sugar.
- Add flour and 100 grams of cheese and mix on med-low speed for 3-4 minutes until it forms a nice a firm, pliable dough ball.
- Roll into a 2 foot long log and cut into 12 even pieces.
- Cover dough with plastic and a damp cloth and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Pat dough into rolls or form knots and arrange on a lightly floured surface about an inch apart and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap.
- Let the pretzels rest for an additional 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425°/220 C.
- Lightly oil a baking sheet.
- In a large stockpot, bring the cold water to a rolling boil and add baking soda.
- Drop two rolls into the boiling water and boil for no more then 30 seconds, turning once.
- Carefully remove with tongs or slotted spoon and hold above pot and let drain.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Repeat with the remaining rolls.
- Arrange rolls on the oiled baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake on the upper rack of the oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until browned all over; shift pan from back to front halfway through, for even baking.
- Let rolls cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Extra Bonus Round
Despite the deliciousness of these rolls on their own, I couldn’t help but use the opportunity to attempt to make something I loved from my childhood in Germany. A chain called Ditsch makes all kind of delicious pretzel goods, and the one I was most addicted to was kind of like a flattened pretzel pizza. I squashed one of my balls of dough to replicate my fond Ditsch memories, and ended up with this yummy concoction:
Add sauce, meat, veggies, or whatever you will, but even on its own this pretzely, cheesy magnificence is bound to hit the spot!