I love pretzels and often use it in my desserts in some shape or form (see Sparkle Balls, Salticrax Choc Sandwiches and Larney Sparkle Slices for proof). So, inspired by my favourite ingredient: the hard pretzel, I wanted to create a salty savoury dish. And ta-da the stuffed soft pretzel concept started circling in the sparkle atmosphere!
Although initially a savoury dish…
You can stuff your pretzel with anything – safe-to-eat-viennas (South African joke), bobotie mince, sweet fillings like chocolate, caramel, cookie mix, marshmallows – the sky is the limit.
The ingredients in the stuffing section are just fillings that I felt like eating inside a soft pretzel and they are YUM! But please adapt and enjoy.
Pretzel Dough Ingredients:
1½ Cups of Warm Water
1 TBSP. of Sugar
2 Tsp. of Salt
1 x 10g Packet of Instant Yeast
4½ Cups of Flour
¼ Cup of Unsalted Butter
2 Tsps. of Oil
10 Cups/2.5 L of Water
⅔ Cups Bicarbonate of Soda
¼ Cup of Butter and Kosher Salt/Granulated Salt (Topping)
HOW TO MAKE THE PRETZELS:
#1 Combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast in a bowl. Whisk lightly and then let it stand until the mixture becomes frothy and foamy (about five – seven minutes).
#2 Once it is frothy – add the salt, flour and melted ¼ cup of butter. Mix gently. Then if you have a stand mixer use the dough-hook attachment and mix for five to seven minutes on a low or medium-low speed. If you don’t have a stand mixer, use your hands to knead the dough to a smooth texture. The mix should not be too sticky that you can’t get it off the dough hook/ your hands – add a little bit of flour if this is the case.
#3 Pour a bit of oil over the mix and coat.
#4 If it is a warm day, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave the dough to rise in a warm area. If it is a cooler day, switch on the oven light and pop the dough with the tea towel in the oven. Wait until the dough has doubled in size (about an hour).
#5 Now onto those fillings:
Pretzel Bomb Stuffing:
Place the butter in a skillet and on a high heat “brown” the butter. Once, the butter has darkened, add the crushed cloves of garlic; then the onion. When the onion softens add the bacon, chilli flakes (optional) and diced bacon and fry until the mix is caramelised. Place this in a container and place in the fridge or freezer to cool down. And then slice the mozzarella into thinnish-cubed strips (you can cut it smaller later to fit into the dough).
Bacon Dog Pretzel:
Take the streaky bacon and wrap around the viennas (1:1 ratio). To keep the ends in place, shove toothpicks in them. Over a medium heat, pour in the oil and fry the bacon-viennas; pour over the honey to caramelise the bacon. Once done, place in a container in the fridge/freezer to cool down.
Cheesy Fig Pretzel and Random Stuffings:
Slice the Emmental cheese into thinnish cubed strips (you can adjust the size when it comes to wrapping it in the dough), and slice the figs into fine pieces. For the random stuffings cut the chocolate and cheese etc. and place everything in the freezer, in preparation. You can cut these into smaller sizes to ensure the dough cover each piece, later too.
#6 Once the dough has doubled in size you can prepare two baking sheets, by placing baking paper or silicone pads on it. And preheat the oven to 230 ˚C.
#7 In a very large pot, throw in the bicarbonate of soda and 2.5 L of water (ten cups); bring the mix to a boil. Once it has boiled. Reduce to a medium heat. So that the mix is hot but not boiling.
#8 Tip the dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide the mix into 16 equal pieces (divide in two and then two and then two etc. until you have 16 pieces).
#9 Channel your inner-child and make “slangetjies” or snakes with each piece. If you have no clue what that is – roll each dough ball between your hands, stretch and roll on the surface and stretch – until each piece is about a 41 to 45 cm long “snake” or “thinnish long sausage”.
#10 Now choose the filling you want: chocolate/ bacon-dog pretzel/cheesy fig/pretzel bomb/cheese.
#11 Carefully wrap the snaked dough around your stuffing of choice; making sure you pinch and stretch the dough so that no filling comes out in the bicarb bath.
Pretzel Bomb Instructions:
The pretzel bomb has a more of a base (as seen in the picture) than the other stuffings. Half your piece of dough (the one out of 16). Snake roll the one half. Roll the other half into a base for the onion, bacon, mozzarella to “sit” on – then wrap the snake around the base and the toppings. Pinching closed any holes.
Bacon Dog Pretzel Instructions:
Once you have snaked the dough, wrap the dough going the opposite way the bacon is wrapped (to secure it). This is the one stuffing that the dough doesn’t have to “cover” the whole filling. Just make sure to tuck the ends of the dough into itself – so that the snake doesn’t leave the sausage in the bicarb bath.
Cheesy Fig and Other One Ingredient Filling Instructions:
Snake the dough and flatten it. Carefully, place a piece of the Emmental cheese with the sliced figs on it and wrap the snaked dough around. Pinch together the dough making sure there aren’t any holes or gaps. Do this with any other fillings you want to use – chocolate, just plain cheese etc.
#12 Once all the dough is rolled and the stuffings stuffed, take two of the dough-wrapped parcels and place it in the hot bicarb-water bath. Time it for 30 seconds and then remove. Repeat this with all your stuffed pretzels. Placing them on the baking sheets prepared earlier.
#13 Once this is done, brush melted butter on the dough and pour the kosher/granulated salt over.
#14 Bake in the oven for eight – ten minutes or until the tops are golden and toasty. If the bottoms seem underdone, flip over and bake for additional four or so minutes.
#15 Now for the yummy bit. Yay! Enjoy it. For the savoury stuffed pretzels, I combined a TBSP. of Honey, TBSP. of hot German mustard and two tsps. of mayonnaise for a honey-mustard dipping sauce.
Let me know if you tried it. And please share this recipe with your loved ones that love to eat (and at the same time support a fellow South African – Ach please man)!
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