Pretzels are a great snack.
Especially ones studded with bacon and a cheese sauce on the side. Of course, you do not have to use bacon or make a cheese sauce. The customization is totally up to you. The main thing as always is the recipe for the bread. There are many different variants for a pretzel. Sweetened ones with sugar, cinnamon & chocolate. Savoury ones with cheese and seeds. They can be made thicker for a softer more fluffy texture. Or they can be rolled out thin and baked to a crispy, dense finish. Once you have made them a couple of times you will be able to customize them to your liking. This recipe will make 6 large pretzels. Multiply the amount of ingredients to make more.
Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.
For the pretzels –
280g (10oz) strong white bread flour
20g (0.7oz) wholemeal flour
6g (0.2oz) salt
3g (0.1oz) dry yeast of 3x the amount of fresh yeast
20g (0.7oz) soft butter
65g (2.3oz) stout, like Guiness (cold from the fridge). If you don’t want to use alcohol, then just replace it with water.
100g (3.5oz) cold water, at around 6C (42F)
To learn more about dough temperature control click here.
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon of water for brushing
Diced bacon for topping
30g (1oz) honey or syrup for boiling
For the sauce –
40g (1.4oz) Guiness
40g (1.4oz) mild mustard
20g (0.7oz) butter
Pinch of cayenne pepper
180g (6.3oz) grated cheddar
- In a bowl combine the water, stout, yeast, salt, butter & wholemeal flour. Mix well.
- Add the rest of the flour and mix to a dough. Knead for 5 minutes. Desired dough temperature 25C (77F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust proofing time accordingly.
- Cover & ferment for 1 hour.
- Ferment for 1 more hour.
- Divide into 6 equal pieces. Preshape.
- Rest for 30 minutes.
- Shape the pretzels.
- Cover & ferment for 30 minutes. If your dough was fermenting rapidly up until now, then place the pretzels in the fridge right after shaping instead of leaving them out for 30 minutes.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. During this time, you can preheat your oven to 200C (390F) fan on.
- Bring 2L (2.1qt) of water to the boil. Add the honey. Boil the pretzels 20 seconds per side. Drain them.
- Brush with the egg yolk & water glaze. Top with diced bacon.
- Bake for 14 minutes.
- Once the pretzels come out the oven, make the sauce. Bring the stout, mustard, butter & cayenne pepper to a simmer. Add the cheese and mix until melted. If you want your cheese sauce to be more stretchy, then replace half of the cheddar with mozzarella.
Watch the video here