Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Bites with Rosemary Salt

14 | April 12, 2013

cheese stuffed pretzels main

First of all this day has been good. The sun is shining, weather’s perfect, the dog didn’t eat the cat, it’s payday, and I was nominated for The SAVEUR Best Food Blog Awards (Best Kid’s Cooking Blog – go vote)! Snow White and her seven weird dwarfs couldn’t have written a better day. Well, I guess it could always be a little better. Chef Eric Ripert and his sexy self could be in my kitchen cooking me a fabulous dinner shirtless but considering that would probably never happen — I’ll take today with a smile.

Speaking of smiles – what food from your childhood makes you smile? Mine is a salty hot soft pretzel. My dad and I used to go to practically every Dallas Cowboy football game when I was a kid and he’d always get me a soft pretzel during halftime. I crave them like my dog craves venison sausage but just like Jack – too much of a good thing isn’t always good (like not fitting in your jeans the next day or chewing an entire yard of grass to settle your stomach after inhaling people food.) I would eat pretzels everyday if I could, but since I don’t making them becomes extra special. It takes a little effort but the reward is worth every second.

Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Bites with Rosemary Salt is the perfect snack, appetizer, or game day food. Salty, cheesy, with a hint of rosemary goodness, these soft chewy pretzels will have you melting with pleasure (kind of like what would happen to me if I ever did witness Eric Ripert in my kitchen). Cheers!

Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Bites with Rosemary Salt makes 6 dozen

  • 2 cups warm water, 100-110°F
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 8 mozzarella cheese sticks*
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse Kosher Salt or Pretzel Salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • cooking oil spray
  • marinara for dipping

*Fontina, Gruyere, or Gouda cheese can be substituted.

yeast

In a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine warm water and sugar together and stir to dissolve the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast in and let sit for 10 minutes. The yeast should be slightly foamy.

dough

Add 1 cup of flour to the yeast mixture and mix on low to combine. Once combined, add 4 cups of flour and salt. Mix on medium-low until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Add 1/2 cup of flour, and knead on low for a minute more. Add 1/2 cup more flour only if the dough still fills wet and sticky and knead until combined.

dough ball

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Don’t know how to knead? No worries. Here’s a video by Epicurious. And if you’re still intimidated by kneading, just do your best and play with the dough for 10 minutes. Something’s got to happen right?

Pour oil into a large boil and coat the sides. Place the dough into the bowl, turning it over a few times to coat the dough with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Or let rise in the refrigerator covered with a towel for 12 hours or overnight.

cheese

While the dough is rising, slice the cheese into 1/2 inch bite sized portions.

rosemary

And combine the rosemary and salt in a bowl. Set aside until needed.

dough_bites_edited-1

Punch down the dough to remove bubbles and transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide into quarters. Form each quarter into 4 balls. Roll each ball into a 12-inch-long rope. Cut each rope into 2-inch pieces (you will have 6 or 7 pieces per rope), and transfer to wax paper–lined baking sheets, plates, or counter top.

boil

Heat oven to 450°F with racks in upper and lower third. Prep two baking sheets with cooking spray. In a 4- to 5-quart saucepan, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Add 12 pretzel bites and cook for 1 minute, then transfer with a slotted spoon to baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough.

cheese dough

Place a piece of cheese in the center of a piece of dough and form the dough around it. Return it to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. In a small bowl, combine egg and water and beat to combine. Once all pieces of dough are stuffed, lightly brush the dough pieces with egg wash. Sprinkle with the rosemary and salt.

oven

Bake pretzel bites in oven, switching sheets between racks and rotating sheets halfway through baking, until deep brown, about 15 minutes.  Once finished, transfer pretzel bites to wire racks to cool.

pretzel bites cooling

Pretzel bites are best served right away. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping. They can be made 1 day ahead and kept in a resealable plastic bag or frozen 1 month. Thaw, and rewarm, if desired, in a 350°F oven for about 5 minutes.

Again, these little bites are amazing! I think Mia, the resident 4 year-old went through a dozen by herself.

The basic pretzel dough recipe is from Everyday Food Soft Pretzel recipe.

Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Bites with Rosemary Salt

Rating: 51

Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Bites with Rosemary Salt

Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water, 100-110°F
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 8 mozzarella cheese sticks
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse Kosher Salt or Pretzel Salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • cooking oil spray
  • marinara for dipping

Instructions

    To make the dough:
  1. In a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine warm water and sugar together and stir to dissolve the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast in and let sit for 10 minutes. The yeast should be slightly foamy.
  2. Add 1 cup of flour to the yeast mixture and mix on low to combine. Once combined, add 4 cups of flour and salt. Mix on medium-low until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Add 1/2 cup of flour, and knead on low for a minute more. Add 1/2 cup more flour only if the dough still fills wet and sticky and knead until combined. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Pour oil into a large bowl and coat the sides. Place the dough into the bowl, turning it over a few times to coat the dough with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Or let rise in the refrigerator covered with a towel for 12 hours or overnight.
  4. While the dough is rising, slice the cheese into 1/2 inch bite sized portions. Combine the rosemary and salt in a bowl. Set aside until needed.
  5. Punch down the dough to remove bubbles and transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide into quarters. Form each quarter into 4 balls. Roll each ball into a 12-inch-long rope. Cut each rope into 2-inch pieces (you will have 6 or 7 pieces per rope), and transfer to wax paper–lined baking sheets, plates, or counter top.
  6. Heat oven to 450°F with racks in upper and lower third. Prep two baking sheets with cooking spray. In a 4- to 5-quart saucepan, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Add 12 pretzel bites and cook for 1 minute, then transfer with a slotted spoon to baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  7. Place a piece of cheese in the center of a piece of dough and form the dough around it. Return it to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. In a small bowl, combine egg and water and beat to combine. Once all pieces of dough are stuffed, lightly brush the dough pieces with egg wash. Sprinkle with the rosemary and salt.
  8. Bake pretzel bites in oven, switching sheets between racks and rotating sheets halfway through baking, until deep brown, about 15 minutes. Once finished, transfer pretzel bites to wire racks to cool.
  9. Pretzel bites are best served right away. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping. They can be made 1 day ahead and kept in a resealable plastic bag or frozen 1 month. Thaw, and rewarm, if desired, in a 350°F oven for about 5 minutes.

Notes

Fontina, Gruyere, or Gouda cheese can be substituted.

http://www.insockmonkeyslippers.com/cheese-stuffed-pretzel-bites-with-rosemary-salt

    Comments

  • Laurie {SimplyScratch}


    Stoooopppp itt! My family would Fuh-REAK if I made these. Seriously that rosemary salt sounds incredible!!

  • Rodney


    I just learned after years of baking of a good trick for proofing yeast & rising dough in cold weather. Run your dryer for a brief time so it is warm. Put yeast mix or dough in dryer for stated time.

    Be sure to cover the dough with a towel as you would normally do. There is usually some lint or fibers floating around in my dryer after I warm it up.

  • Paula - bell'alimento


    SAVEUR wahoo! Way to go Queenie you crushed it! And these cheese stuffed pretzels are the perfect way to celebrate!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar


    This looks so lovely!

  • Khristie


    Look so good! Do think I could use oat or rice flour for a gluten-free alternative?

    • In Sock Monkey Slippers


      Thanks Khristle! I’m really not sure since gluten-free baking is not my specialty. I would advise to do a little research and give it a try!

  • steph@stephsbitebybite


    Oh yes, these would easily become my new favorite snack!

  • Marla Meridith


    These look soooooo addictive!

  • Megan @ Our PInteresting Family


    These look fantastic!!

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