…only--not together! Did you all know that April is soft pretzel month? Yeah, it is! I love a warm, soft pretzel. They’re salty, a touch sweet--and if you have something to dip them in, it’s even better! This week, I decided to try making some again. Apple Pie Pretzels are slightly sweet, with nice bits of dried apple and apple pie spice-so very nice. Jalapeno and cheese is kind of self explanatory. The finely diced jalapeno, we found, makes a perfect addition to a soft pretzel! Shredded cheese over the top (and right in the dough, too!) makes a nice addition.
Notice how I said “making some again” up there? Even though they’re incredibly simple to make, I’ve only ever made them once before. I was about 17 the first time I tried making these. Back then, it was a huge deal for me to make a yeast dough! I worked so hard to get them all looking good. They were delicious, and I was so damn proud. I let them cool, then stored them in a couple of big Ziploc bags. One of my cats at the time loved baked goods. I mean really loved them. We had to watch him all the time, the little bugger. There was no cookie, cake or pie that was safe in his vicinity. I came home from school and found that he’d bitten through both bags, and taken a bite of EACH pretzel! Not just one--no, that wasn’t satisfying enough. Each and every one. After trying two or three, was he expecting the next one to taste like tuna or salmon? “Hmmm, pretzel flavor again. Damn! Maybe this one? No. How about that one? Huh. This one? That one? No, no, and no.” Every single one. I was so ticked off! I only had one the day before! I was in no mood to make more, I can tell you that. Freaking cat. I miss that little shit.
Keep in mind, if you want to make both flavors, you’ll need to do them separately because the add-ins go in before kneading--so plan on having double the ingredients on hand.
Apple Pie and/or Jalapeno Cheese Soft Pretzels
adapted slightly from Aunt Annie's recipe
makes about 9 large pretzels--I made one batch for each flavor
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups warm water (Don't add this to the dough! Read recipe through first.)
2 tablespoons baking soda (Don't add this to the dough, either! Read recipe through first.)
1 egg, beaten
For Apple Pie Pretzels:
1 cup dried apple pieces (I had dried slices that I simply cut up with kitchen shears-chop them finely, as they plump up as the dough rises)
1 1/2 tsp apple pie spice
turbinado sugar for sprinkling over tops before baking (optional)
For Jalapeno Cheese Pretzels:
1 medium jalapeno, finely diced (if you want them spicier, leave some seeds and ribs in the pepper)
1 cup grated cheese (I used a mix of Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso, and Asadero)
a bit more cheese for sprinkling over the tops during baking, about 1/2 cup or so
3/4-1 tsp Adobo Seasoning
Pour the 1 1/2 cups of water in your mixing bowl. Add the yeast, sugar and salt, and stir to dissolve them. Let this sit for about 5 minutes.
Add the flour, and your choice of add-ins. In my Kitchen Aid mixer, I mixed on low, then let the dough knead with the dough hook for just a couple of minutes. It comes together very quickly.
Set the dough aside to rise, covered with plastic wrap, for about an hour. (This is about how long I was gone running errands.)
While your dough is doing it's thing, mix the baking soda and the 2 cups of warm water in a bowl that you can dip the pretzels in before baking. Set aside.
Heat the oven to 450. When you're ready to roll the pretzels, take a portion off the dough, and roll it into a long rope. My apple pieces weren't cut small enough and they were all plumpy, so I got lumpy pretzels. Still delicious! Shape into a pretzel shape. Here's a great diagram! Set each pretzel aside on a parchment lined baking sheet. When you've rolled all of them, dip each pretzel in the baking soda/water mixture and set back on the sheet.
Brush each pretzel with the egg wash.
For the Jalapeno Cheese pretzels, bake them for 8 minutes. Take them out, sprinkle the cheese over, and then return to the oven for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from oven and place the pretzels on a cooling rack.
For the Apple Pie Pretzels, do the egg wash, then if you're using the turbinado sugar over, do it now. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.
- My pretzels baked up as fatty little boombalatties, sort of like rolls. SO--not only are they super satisfying pretzels, but they make awesome sandwich rolls! Hell yeah, they do.
- Try a bacon (or ham), egg and cheeser on the apple ones and you’ll be in pretzel breakfast sandwich heaven. Trust me. You’re welcome.
- What’s a soft pretzel without something to dip it in? I chose a Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce for the Apple Pie Pretzels, and a Salsa con Queso for the Jalapeno Cheese Pretzels.
- Serve alongside some soup instead of roll for a hearty meal!