A soft pretzel with a swirl of decadent pimento cheese baked right in and a frizzled cheddar top.
The steps and ingredients are the same as for making Soft Pretzel Breadsticks up until the shaping, so some of the original photos are not reproduced here. For the full set of photos, please refer to the basic recipe. If you do not already have a batch of pimento cheese prepared, there is plenty of time to whip some up while the dough is rising.
When slashing the breadsticks before baking, it is important to make acute slashes (try to keep your blade almost parallel to your work surface). If the slash penetrates the top layer of dough, the pimento cheese will bubble through while baking. It really isn’t a big deal, but makes for nicer presentation if avoided. Be conservative with coarse salt when sprinkling on before baking, as the cheese already adds some saltiness. Best served hot from the oven, or within 1-2 days. Reheats well in a toaster oven.
Serve with pimento cheese. This recipe calls for a full batch of pimento cheese, which is enough to fill the pretzels and serve alongside them.
Special Equipment: Standing Mixer with Dough Hook attachment, instant-read thermometer, 12-inch skillet with cover, 2 baking sheets, parchment paper, box grater, sharp knife or razor blade for slashing dough
|3 cups (16.5 ounces) bread flour, plus more for dusting work surface
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon (6 grams) table salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup very warm (110 degrees) water
|Place ingredients in bowl of standing mixer. With spoon or spatula, mix together to form a rough dough.
Using standing mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, mix at low speed until smooth elastic ball forms, 5 to 7 minutes. The dough will be rather stiff.
Transfer dough to large lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat lightly with oil. Cover with kitchen towel and set in warm spot until puffy and doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours (may take more or less time depending on ambient temperature).
Adjust oven rack to middle position, and preheat oven to 450 degrees.
If you do not have Pimento Cheese prepared already, you should make it at this point.
Press the dough down with your fist to deflate, pressing out any large air bubbles, and transfer to lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into 14 equal pieces, about 2 ounces each.
|1 1/2 cups (1 batch) Pimento Cheese||Press one piece of dough into a 5 1/2 x 2 inch rectangle of even thickness. Place 2 teaspoons of pimento cheese in center of dough and spread in an even layer toward edges, leaving about 1 inch border free of pimento cheese on all sides (important for properly sealing the dough). Roll the dough into a cylinder along the long edge (like a jelly roll). With seam facing up, tuck ends of dough up, then pinch ends and center seam well to seal.
Set aside with seam facing down. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Cover shaped breadsticks with a towel. There will be a good amount of pimento cheese remaining after all pretzels are shaped, cover and refrigerate.
|6 cups water
3 tablespoons baking soda
|In 12-inch skillet, add water and baking soda. Stir well to dissolve baking soda in water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Gently place half of the breadsticks in boiling water, top side down, for 30 seconds. Using wire skimmer or slotted spoon, carefully flip breadsticks to other side and boil for 30 seconds. Remove breadsticks and drain well. Repeat with remaining breadsticks.
|4 ounce block extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded on small holes of box grater, for sprinkling
Very coarse salt, such as Maldon sea salt, or pretzel salt
|Transfer breadsticks to prepared baking sheets, spacing at least 2 inches apart. Using sharp knife or razor blade, make 3 diagonal acute slashes along the top of each breadstick. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and a little coarse salt.
Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, until pretzels are deeply browned. Place baking sheets on wire racks to cool briefly. Serve hot with reserved pimento cheese.
© 2012 by Revel Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.
This recipe is linked with Delicious Dish Tuesday